By Mari Mermelstein, Online Math Content Specialist, City Year, Inc.
Every April, the United States recognizes the importance of mathematics in our everyday lives by celebrating Mathematics Awareness Month. The theme for this year - Mathematics, Magic, & Mystery - was chosen to honor Martin Gardner, who lived his life promoting engagement in recreational mathematics (yes, doing math for the pure enjoyment of doing math!). Gardner challenged people of all ages to tackle puzzles, demystify tricks, and use math to think critically - but most importantly - in a fun way.
City Year will join countless other organizations to recognize that mathematics isn’t just a class we take in school, but is a way of thinking and problem solving that will help lead to long-term success for all students.
To learn more about Math Awareness Month, and for ideas about activities you can do to celebrate with students, check out these great websites:
- Math Aware – This is your home base for all things Mathematics Awareness Month. On this website you will find the official poster for the year, related resources (I highly recommend exploring the “puzzles, games, and magic” section!) and special for this year, a daily activity that corresponds with one of the images on the poster. Follow @MathAware on twitter to see the new topic for the day!
- Illumination’s Brainteasers – Put your brain to the test with these brainteasers, like the Magic Rectangles from Illuminations. With varying degrees of difficulty and lots of brainteasers to choose from, you’re sure to find something both fun and challenging!
- Celebration of Mind – Every year on October 21st, people from all over the world celebrate Martin Gardner’s birthday by participating in math events. Be it a large, organized math competition, or doing a challenging math or logic problem with friends and colleagues, people continue to carry on Gardner’s message – sharing the enjoyment of mathematics. Looking for ideas for your next math celebration? Check out their resources page for fun, printable math activities!
- Check out publications by, about, and honoring Martin Gardner – To celebrate this year’s MAM, both the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America have put together a collection of books and articles by and about Martin Gardner, as well as some other publications that are in the same spirit of Gardner’s work.
Photos from mathaware.org (http://www.mathaware.org/mam/2014/poster/)