19. June 2020

# Trail of the Month: Omagongati Trails

Liina Shimakeleni, Mathematics and Science teacher at Omagongati Combined School in Namibia, created several theme-based math trails, e.g. about the topic volume, which are are new Trails of the Month. In this interview, Liina gives us an insight into the usage of MathCityMap in Africa. Furthermore, she talks about her experiences on the MCM system and her created trails.

Hi Liina, let’s start with our ‘classic’ first question: How did you in contact with MathCityMap?

I am a Mathematics and Science teacher at Omagongati Combined, I have been teaching at this school for eight years. I registered with the Rhodes University (South Africa), doing Masters in Mathematics Education. We attend contact classes in NIED Okahandja, Namibia. In 2019 Matthias Ludwig, a senior lecturer from Goethe University, paid us a guest lecture and introduced the MCM project. I embraced the whole MCM idea and thought it was in line with my research area, which is to discover how mathematics learned in the classroom is linked to real life through outdoor activities– as advocated by the MCM project.

What are your personal experiences with MathCityMap?

My very first encounter was not an easy one. After solving tasks that were set by Matthias it was our turn to set our tasks in the NIED Okahandja campus. I did not find a task that day because I did not want any mathematics task, but I wanted a task that is related to what I ask from/discuss with my learners in the mathematics class.

I use MCM in my research to find out how Grade 9 learners use smartphones and visualization to learn measurement.

The uniqueness in my tasks is that each trail consists of tasks that are resourced from Perimeter, Area and Volume topics in school mathematics curriculum. For example, in the task ‘Volume of a tank’ learners are asked to calculate the volume of an old tank in the school ground, where they could not measure that radius of that tank directly. This task requires learners to make this complex task into simpler steps by finding the radius from circumference [C=2·π·r] and use value r to find the volume [V= π·r2·h].

Let’s have a look on Liinas theme-based math trails:

 Name Topic Code Number of Downloads Omagongati Perimeter Trail Perimeter 132336 43 Omagongati Area Trail Area 152516 18 Omagongati Volume Trail Volume 012527 71

Please describe the school yard of Omagongati Combined. Why did you create this route?

Omagongati is a rural school in the northern part of Namibia. The school may not have a lot of buildings and state of the art structures, but the little we have is surely worthwhile to discover some mathematics. Running an MCM trail allows learners to leave the boundaries of the classroom and engage with hands-on measurement activities. The smartphone can be used to create learning tasks that can be shared, solved in groups, published and used to generate discussions among users, learners in my case.

Do you have any other commentary on MathCityMap?

Learning for understanding calls for activeness, human interaction with learning environment. The use of smartphones that was previously discouraged can be useful as a learning tool to enhance learning experience in young people especially that we live in an era that involve constant engagement with mobile technology. I am fortunate to learn about MathCityMap.

Date: 19. June 2020 | By: Simon Barlovits | Category:  | No Comments