Thinking About Including Mathematics in your STEM Clubs?
Whatever the key topic or activity you cover in your STEM Club, including mathematics will greatly benefit the learning of your students. Mathematics provides opportunities for reasoning and problem solving which are essential to projects and experiments.
Raising awareness of how maths can be used to support projects or as a topic in its own right will help students understand the place that it holds in the wider world and not just in the classroom. STEM Clubs are a great way to show how important maths is and that it can be fun and exciting as well as having a genuine purpose.
We’ve looked through our resources and identified some activities to help show maths in a different light. Some are good for warming up a club session, some support other subjects and some will really get them thinking! Take a look through, have a go, think up some of your own and provide some suggestions.
- Maths Magic (age 11-19) from Maths Magic; this is a series of STEM Club led mathematical activities, they include: Algebra on the Planet Zog (exploring modulo arithmetic), Are you a Golden Person? (investigating the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence), F=ma in a Helicopter (investigating what happens to packages hanging below aa helicopter) and many more intriguing ideas
- Alien Invasion (age 11-16) from Bowland Charitable Trust; this is a set of four interactive lessons about an alien invasion that coincides with a class visit to ‘Manford City’; students must use the city map, news bulletins, radio broadcasts, phone messages and maths to solve a series of problems to rescue the captured teacher
- Bridges and Structures (age 11-16) from cre8te; these activities challenge students to be constructive, creative and to think strategically about simple structures as they design and build solutions to test mathematical principles
- Cryptic Challenge (age 11-16) from Maths Careers; this resource contains a quiz which club members have to solve using code breaking and cyphers across a variety of topics
- Mission Rainforest (age 11-16) from Bowland Charitable Trust; students adopt the role of a small team of undercover environmentalists who are deep in a tropical rainforest, the students solve four missions to stop the illegal actions of the multinational logging company
- F1 in Schools: Mathematics – calculating Speed (age; 11-14) from F1 in Schools; students use their knowledge of speed, time and distance to calculate the speed of an F1 car using real race data from the Monaco circuit map
- Colouring Maps (age 7-16) from Subtangent; based on the four colour theory used by mapmakers, students must use mathematical skills to colour a map using the four colours and ensure no two regions which share a border have the same colour
- Treasure Hunt (age 7-14) from Mathigon; students follow a trail of clues and mathematical problems around the school to find the treasure. The questions are taken from a wide range of different topics and are not always directly linked to curricular maths
- Mission to the Moon (age 5-11) from ESERO-UK; this collection of STEM based activities fully integrates maths problem solving using current lunar research and real data
There are lots more activities involving maths on the STEM Learning website, so take a look and find something that’s fits your need.
Whatever activity or project you undertake in the club, take a second look and see how you can bring maths into it and provide opportunities to stretch your club member’s abilities. Have fun and remember to make suggestions for some of your favourite maths activities to inspire other club leaders.
The next article is STEM Clubs and DT.