Task of the week: Mainbank
The mathematics teacher Henrike Homann, recently created the task “Mainbank” in Gemünden, a town located east of Frankfurt directly on the Main River, which we would like to present to you as the task of the week. The aim of the task is to determine the ratio in which the position of the town of Gemünden divides the total length of the Main and thus of the bank reproducing the course of the Main. In the following interview Henkrike Hohmann talks about her experiences with MathCityMap so far and about the idea for her task.
How did you come across the MathCityMap project? How do you use MCM?
Many years ago, I attended a training course at the University of Würzburg in which Prof. Ludwig presented some of his projects in mathematics teaching. I liked the ideas so much that I kept looking for new projects by Prof. Ludwig. Thereby I came across the MathCityMap application. In an advanced training course, I was able to get to know the app from a student’s point of view and create the first tasks myself. Right from the start, I liked the fact that with the help of the app, the students experience the relationship of “dry” mathematics to reality and discover mathematical objects everywhere in their environment. In the process, they encounter completely new problems that don’t arise in the usual textbook tasks: How do I measure correctly? What quantities do I actually need to solve the problem? What accuracy is appropriate? Last but not least, the handling of the cell phone and the new learning location outside is motivating for the students.
Based on MCM, I created trails for the city of Gemünden together with the students of a project seminar. These have already been used with pleasure by students of our school on project days or on other special occasions. But also tourists can borrow the necessary materials at the tourist information and go on a mathematical scavenger hunt. A few trails have already been created on the school grounds as well. I have noticed that the effect is even greater for the students when they create tasks for their classmates themselves.
What can learners take away from working on the task?
The rather easy task Mainbank is part of a trail revised for the Tourist Info, which leads families coming to Gemünden to various mostly also historical buildings in the city and links information about the city with small mathematical tasks. At the task “Mainbank”, which should be solved without a calculator, you can not only repeat mathematical content such as distance ratios, common divisors, shortening and estimating, but you also have to bring some geographical knowledge about the location of the cities on the Main.