Title of Project
: Mathematics in Science Fairs
Year of Competition
: Single Year
Type of Report
: October 15, 2002, to April 15, 2003
Description of Activity:
Work with students and teachers (mostly at secondary schools) to invent
and develop mathematical projects suitable for exhibition at science fairs.
The inward, contemplative side of the subject makes this a challenging task.
The programme had PIMS (the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical
Sciences) as its main sponsor, took place within the frame-work of the
Science Fair Foundation (BC), and was structured as follows.
The detailed interaction with students and teachers was carried
out by the "Project Developer," Wendy Nielsen, a graduate student in
the UBC Faculty of Education. She gave out 300 promotional brochures,
and spoke to many teachers at the annual meeting of the BC Math Teachers'r
Assoc.,last October. She eventually received invitations from only six
teachers to run workshops in their classes for a total of 163 students.
The projects so obtained were screened in the individual schools, so
that 20 projects were finally submitted to the Greater Vancouver Regional
Although the GVRSF did its own systematic judging, PIMS recruited a
smaller group of judges (mostly from the UBC Math Dept) to award its
total of 10 prizes in the 3 divisions of the fair (Senior, Intermediate,
Junior). It also funded the travel to the National Fair at Calgary for
the top 2 students.
Assessment of Effectiveness:
Future Plans (if any):
- Over the years, a fair number of mathematicians have played the role
of judges for the PIMS award. They interacted with students and teachers
in a most respectful manner, and were gnerally impressed by the keenness
of the participants -- who, by the way, were not your standard "brains"
- The participating teachers did some informal "professional development",
i.e., they learned some mathematics and, more importantly, saw that this
subject offers unbounded learning opportunities. It is safe to assume
that the visiting public also came away with new impressions.
- Apart from the self-inflicted PIMS awards, 1 of the 2 students sent
to Calgary received a national Golsd Medal.
- The list of corporate sponsors appears on the GVRSF web-site. Apart
from the CMS and PIMS, there seemed to be no sponsors for mathematics
Repeat the same process next year. The Project Developper, Wendy Dorn,
is exceptially radiant and enthusiastic about school mathematics.
| PIMS support (as per budget):
|CMS support (Endowment Grant):
|Honorarium for Project Developper:
| $ 106.26
|Calgary travel for 2 top students:
|PIMS Prizes at GVR Science Fair:
|Overhead paid to BC Science World:
: Klaus Hoechsmann
[September 5, 2003]