MathCityMap goes to South Africa
This week, we had the opportunity to present MathCityMap at a teacher training at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in South Africa.
Matthias Ludwig followed the invitation of Prof. Dr. Marc Schäfer (chair of mathematics education, Rhodes University) and accepted the challenge to present and test MCM in South Africa.
The area of Rhodes University offers a variety of objects which are suitable for good MCM tasks. Three routes with 6-7 tasks could be created. On Monday, the theory of outdoor mathematics and the basic idea of MCM were introduced. On Tuesday, almost all of the 50 teachers were able to install the MCM app on their Android smartphones. Some tried it with their Windows phones, but of course it did not work. None of the teachers owned an iPhone! Afterwards, it was time to solve the tasks, but it turned out that many participants were not able to navigate on a map at all. Some had not activated the GPS localization and searched the right direction. Thanks to the support of Clemens and Percy, we found the reason quickly.
It was a pleasure to observe the teachers during solving the tasks, and to see the joy when the MCM app rewarded a 100-point response and a green check. Overall, the concept of “doing mathematics outside” was completely new to the South Africans.
There was also a discussion about units, conversions and modeling. Especially the modeling process is relevant for MCM since one has to translate reality into a mathematical model to solve the tasks numerically.