3. August 2020

Trail of the Month: Math Trail along the Rhine

Our new trail of the month is located in beautiful Bingen on the Rhine, where Alysha Kremmelbein, a student at Frankfurt’s Goethe University, has created the “Mathtrail am Rhein” (engl. “Math Trail along the Rhine”). In the following interview Alysha answers some questions about her trail, which was created during a seminar on MCM for student teachers and was tested by our MathCityMap educators Iwan and Simon (click here for the article).

Note: This article is the start of our upcoming series “Trails in the Rhein-Main area”. In this section we would like to introduce you to the mathematical trails developed by the students in the Mathtrail seminar. All trails have been tested by students on location and have also passed our expert review.

 

But now finally to the “Mathtrail am Rhein” by Alysha Kremmelbein: Hello Alysha, please describe the main contents of our Mathtrail seminar. What was it about?

In our seminar we first learned general didactic as well as mathematical didactic aspects, in relation to the MathCityMap system. I focused on the topics “station work”, “extracurricular learning places” and additionally recorded a podcast on the topic “requirements for good mathematical tasks”. After that we focussed on the MathCityMap App. What does a good task look like? What criteria must it meet? And what are the requirements for a good trail? We investigated this mainly by running already published trails and creating our own trail. In this context my “Mathtrail am Rhein” was created.

Describe your trail. What is special about the trail? For which grade did you create this trail?

My trail includes 18 tasks that can be solved at the Rhine promenade in Bingen. This place is not only beautifully situated for tourism, but also traffic-calmed and offers many opportunities to get together with a school class. The trail covers a wide range of mathematics topics. From potencies and geometric objects to stochastic topics and equations, much is represented in the trail. The main trail contains easier and more difficult tasks that can be solved by ninth graders. In addition, there are two shorter trails (“Mathematics at the Promenade” and “Trail in Bingen on the Rhine”), one with a more challenging and one with an easier level of difficulty. The easier trail can already be done by seventh grade students.

Is there a task that you particularly like?

I find the task „Wasserspielplatz“ (engl. “water playground”) particularly interesting, as it can be solved in many different ways. In this task, students should determine how many pump strokes of a water pump are needed to fill a pool. First of all, they have to calculate the volume of the pool, with a hexagonal base area. The volume must then be converted into litres and then offset against the water volume of a pump stroke. Of course, the pupils can also try to solve the task by pumping water themselves, but then they will be busy for quite a while.

How has the review process helped you to improve your tasks?

With the review by other people, many mistakes made before become apparent. It is very helpful if someone with a new perspective can help you. In addition, it is good if a second person checks the measurement data, because then you can see again how someone else is doing the measurement.

What did you always want to say about MCM?

I find the app very exciting to show students the different applications of math in the environment. It’s also fun to discover mathematics in this way. I could already inspire some of my friends, who are not normally involved in mathematics, for the math trails.

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