Maseno Maths Camp videoThis is a video about a math camp
in Maseno, Kenya, that I've helped coordinate for the last two years. The idea is to give secondary school students a new perspective on mathematics, and expose teachers to activity-based teaching methods. We're aiming to get across the idea that math is about the concepts rather than the drills, understanding rather than mindless computation, beauty rather than grades. The video runs about 13 minutes, but there's a catchy song at the beginning
to rope you in and get the idea across more quickly. Finally, there's a blog post here
outlining a bit of the work we've been up to this year.
There are a lot of Big Ideas going into this project. For me, the really big idea is to build up the base of mathematically literate people in Africa to allow the economies to be a bit more independent, and to allow problems to be solved more readily by people with good understanding of the local situation. There's an all-too-common phenomenon of experts flown in from abroad who stay around very briefly, identify a couple problems and prescribe a couple 'solutions' which have little chance of actually working, with a price tag of a few hundred thousand dollars. So why not create a crew of local experts, with knowledge of the local system and the big-level maths and modeling that the foreign experts are so well paid for?
Of course, to do this, you've got to engage with the education system in one way or another. We're working at all different levels, but what you see here is a project at the secondary school level. We're hoping that by opening eyes of students and teachers to a different way to interact with mathematics, we'll be able to raise the level of understanding, and help produce students who are ready to really tackle mathematics wherever they end up.
Role: camp coordinator, videographer, ukulelist, song-writer
posted by kaibutsu (0 comments total)