The secret power of special numbers

The story of numbers starts with Natural numbers (1, 2, 3, 4 …) and goes with negative numbers (-1, -2, -3, …) and Rational numbers (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ..), and so on. In our activities realized during the STEM Discovery Week 2019 students from Primary school Straso Pindzur Karbinci, NMacedonia got the closer look to the secret power of two very special number: π and φ.

Fixing the broken solution of NASA math problem

The aim of this activity was to introduce the students about use of math and π in real life problems – especially in astronomy and to develop critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and presentation skills.

Introduction in the activity was the celebrating of π day on March 14 in our school, as a part of eTwinning project “π is traveling Europe!” with schools from more than 12 countries. Through art works, game competition, music and a lot of fun students were introduced with number π, it’s digits and application for calculation of perimeter and area of circle.

The main activity “Fixing the broken solution of NASA math problem” was based on resources from NASA .

Working in group of three, by collaboration and team working, students had a task to find the appropriate peaces of puzzle that are connected with given NASA real problem. Than, to solve the puzzle. The puzzle consisted of name and formulation of the problem, picture connected with it and steps of calculations for getting the solution. Their final task for students was to present the problem, it’s details and all new learning about their NASA real problem, and to explain the solution of their puzzle by using facts and logical thinking.

Video about our activity -PI and NASA real problems

Students learned about application of π for calculation in real-world NASA math problems. More over they found out the importance of math in Space problems.

Inspecting our “golden” beauty;

The aim of this second activity realized in our school during SDW19 was to introduce the students about use of math and φ in design, by learning about Golden ratio and art of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The starting question was “Leonardo Da Vinci was artist, engineer, scientist or..? “. Students searched the Europeana collections about Leonardo Da Vinci from two aspects: Leonardo as artist and Leonardo as scientist and inventor. The next challenge was to find the connection and how does he used math and science in his art peaces.

After the discussion, the proof for student’s ideas were seen in YouTube videos:

  • about a study of golden ratio proportions in art composition, focusing on those found in Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” (Christ as Savior of the World) – how Leonardo applied dozens of golden ratios in his greatest works of art, with comments by Dianne Dwyer Modestini, art conservator and restorer of Salvator Mundi ( ).

Motivated by the Golden ratio in human body video ( students work to check the Golden ratio in their bodies.

Video about our activity -PHI and our “Golden” beauty

Inspecting their “golden” beauty was the most interesting part of activity. And, also the findings about PhiMatrix golden ratio design software for “making” perfect beauties.

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About silvanajbinova

I am math teacher from Republic NMacedonia, with 13 years teaching experience. Graduated math on Faculty for Nature science and math- Skopje in 2003, and Master degree in Theory of informatics from Faculty of informatic, University Goce Delcev Stip. Scientix ambassador and passionate teacher to offer equal opportunity for STEM learning to all students, especially to students in rural area.