Investigations in Mathematics

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This resource provides a wealth of ideas and inspiration for teachers looking to enrich the curriculum with investigative mathematics. There is a mix of examples drawing out the mathematics from a wide range of everyday objects and activities. The activities are split into six units.

  1. In Search of patterns: includes mathematical tricks, types of numbers, Lucas numbers, palindromic numbers, Pascal’s triangles, factorials and Goldbach’s conjecture.
  2. Designs of our times: includes consideration of regular and semi-regular tessellations in wall and floor tiles, wallpaper patterns and the use of mathematical shapes in fabric designs, stained glass windows, iron work and wood carving. Transformation geometry can be used as a tool for analysing Maurits Escher's drawings or even for designing new Escher-type creations.
  3. The Patterns of life: looks at proportions and ratios in the designs of national flags, using flags to send messages and making a pentagram by folding.
  4. Experiments with patterns: includes instructions for making the Platonic solids and flexagons, constructions with straws, investigating the geometry of soap bubbles and a large selection of other mathematical illusions and teasers.
  5. Shapes of beauty: investigates the nature of the circle, ellipse, parabola and hyperbola and considers where these shapes occur naturally in plants, animals, minerals, liquids and gases.
  6. People with inspiration: a glossary of famous mathematicians and their work. The book concludes with solutions to the puzzles and investigations. This book is written by Lorraine Mottershead.

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