B­rid­ging the Mat­hs gap

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

NIEU-BETHESDA — De­ter­mi­ned to ma­ke a mat­he­ma­ti­cal dif­fe­ren­ce to Mat­hs for­mal le­ar­ners at U­ni­on High S­chool, Ian and Ka­trin Al­le­man ha­ve hos­ted the top set of le­ar­ners e­ach y­e­ar in Nieu-bethesda for the past 5 y­e­ars.

Du­ring this ti­me, en­gi­neer Gus­tav Weich in­spi­res the­se le­ar­ners and ex­pands their thin­king - un­ra­vel­ling how ex­ci­ting and sti­mu­la­ting mat­hs can be. With Ian and Ka­trin o­ver­se­as this y­e­ar, Ro­nel and C­har­mai­ne at ‘The Ka­roo Lamb’ en­su­red that the group we­re fed and hou­sed com­for­ta­bly for their two-nig­ht stay in the litt­le vil­la­ge.

This y­e­ar Gus­tav took the group in­to his wor­ld of struc­tu­ral en­gi­neer­ing.

Through his skills of sim­pli­fying w­hat he le­ar­ned stu­dying the sub­ject for six y­e­ars, he taug­ht le­ar­ners how to me­a­su­re the weig­ht that the b­rid­ge can wit­hstand per me­ter. Bethesda has its very own sus­pen­ded foot­brid­ge, so the to­pic was li­te­ral­ly and fi­gu­ra­ti­ve­ly rig­ht un­der­ne­ath their feet.

The group al­so ex­plo­red ot­her b­rid­ge struc­tu­res and how to me­a­su­re how much weig­ht cer­tain ty­pes of brid­ges can wit­hstand al­lo­wing them to cal­cu­la­te w­hat is nee­ded to build brid­ges to car­ry de­si­red mass.

Le­ar­ner C­he­v­on­ne Prins­loo said, “Mat­hs camp was a mat­he­ma­ti­cal brain ad­ven­tu­re. We que­s­ti­o­ned our kno­w­led­ge and we ha­ve gro­wn clo­ser as a group. Thank you to tho­se who ma­de us laugh, and to tho­se who hel­ped us sol­ve the pro­blems. We ho­pe to ha­ve mo­re ad­ven­tu­res li­ke this one!”

Ros­lyn S­parks sum­med up the camp in a c­re­a­ti­ve man­ner, “By sub­tracting our­sel­ves from our or­di­na­ry li­ves and ad­ding so­me ad­ven­tu­re to the e­qua­ti­on, we le­ar­ned a very spe­ci­al ty­pe of mat­hs this wee­kend. I couldn’t help but won­der that if we mul­ti­p­lied the ti­me we spent the­re, just how much mo­re we could ha­ve le­ar­ned. Thanks to e­ver­yo­ne who in­ves­ted ti­me in us to ma­ke this camp pos­si­ble!”

Mat­hs te­a­cher, El­rich Jan­tjies, ex­plai­ned how they al­so look­ed at Ga­me T­he­o­ry - a common prin­ci­ple u­sed in e­ver­y­day li­fe that ma­ny are u­na­wa­re of. Ga­me t­he­o­ry is the pro­cess of mo­del­ling the stra­te­gic in­te­racti­on be­t­ween two or mo­re play­ers in a si­tu­a­ti­on con­tai­ning set ru­les and out­co­mes.

To­day, ga­me t­he­o­ry ap­plies to a wi­de ran­ge of be­ha­vi­ou­ral re­la­ti­ons and is now an um­brel­la term for the s­cien­ce of lo­gi­cal de­ci­si­on ma­king in hu­man, a­ni­mals and com­pu­ters. Yu-pei Rong ex­pres­sed, “I ha­ve ne­ver ex­pe­rien­ced a mo­re in­ten­se le­vel of frus­tra­ti­on than sit­ting hours on end with a mat­hs pro­blem, on­ly to find out that the ans­wer was wrong the en­ti­re ti­me! But mat­hs camp has taug­ht me re­si­lien­ce and per­se­ver­an­ce and has gi­ven me the will to try a­gain and a­gain!”

Jan­tjies says that e­ach y­e­ar the group does so­mething com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent un­der the gui­dan­ce of Gus­tav, but the main ob­jecti­ve stays the sa­me: “E­ven if they don’t re­mem­ber e­ver­y­thing they’ve le­arnt, we want le­ar­ners to fall in lo­ve with mat­he­ma­ti­cs, and know that it’s not a­bout get­ting the rig­ht ans­wer, but a­bout their jour­ney get­ting the­re. We al­so want the gra­de to grow clo­ser and work to­get­her be­cau­se this is the way the wor­ld works.”

Thanks to the ge­n­ero­si­ty of pe­op­le li­ke Ian and Ka­trin, and the ex­per­ti­se of Gus­tav Weich and El­rich Jan­tjies, they ha­ve ma­na­ged to a­chie­ve this o­ver the past fi­ve y­e­ars.

“C­hal­len­ging yet mo­ti­va­ti­o­nal, I’m thank­ful to e­ver­yo­ne who I shared it with and the f­riend­ly Nieu-bethesda lo­cals too!

This wee­kend was cer­tain­ly a re­min­der that e­ven if a­ren’t the be­st at mat­hs, it can be fun!” (Kir­sten King), and to sum it all up per­fect­ly, Zint­le Ma­ki said, “Mat­hs camp was phe­no­me­nal, it for­med a b­rid­ge be­t­ween the fun and fac­tu­al si­de of mat­hs. I just wish it could ha­ve been lon­ger!”

A group of U­ni­on High S­chool le­ar­ners ven­tu­red to Nieu-bethesda re­cent­ly to le­arn mo­re a­bout the sub­ject of Mat­hs.

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