It is World Maths Day on 5th May!
But what is World Maths Day and what is it all about?
The first World Maths Day was held in 2007. Over one quarter of a million children from all over the world joined in the activities and competitions that day. Since then, the event has grown so much that millions of children from around the world participate each year.
It is a great excuse to dress up in fancy dress – maths-related, of course! – in the well-publicised competitions hosted on various social media platforms. Children are also asked to take part in competitions and games online. This fun atmosphere shows that maths is something that does not just belong in the classroom.
People tend to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with maths. Some people are bamboozled by numbers, frazzled by fractions, and mixed up with multiplying. That’s ok. We all find something hard. It is something of a difficult subject to grasp at times, but there is maths all around us every day. Even if you are a self-confessed maths hater, I bet you use maths many times a day without even thinking about it, from paying cash at the shop (and working out you have been handed the correct change!) to calculating how much time is left in the oven for that meal you are cooking. Or estimating if there’s enough space to fit that big box in the back of the car, to working out how many steps you still need to go to reach your target on your smartwatch!
Maths is fun and World Maths Day is the day to rise to the challenge and take part in some new mathematical activities.
A little bit of history
Did you know…
- Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician and philosopher who lived about 500 BC. He discovered the theorem for the lengths of the sides of a triangle, showing that the square of the two shorter sides (the opposite and adjacent) is equal to the square of the longer side (the hypotenuse). Pythagoras’ theorem is a² + b² = c².
- An Italian mathematician named Fibonacci (his name was really Leonardo of Pisa) found the Fibonacci Sequence where two numbers are added together to make the next in the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, …. If you check, you will see 0+1 is 1, then 1+1=2, 1+2 is 3, 2 plus 3 is 5, then 3 add 5 is 8 and so on. This very neat maths pattern is seen in nature in the number of petals on flowers. Isn’t that amazing?!
- In the 17th century, French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the first mechanical calculator and found probably the most amazing number pattern ever (in my opinion!). Pascal’s triangle is a very clever triangular pattern where two numbers side by side add to form the number that sits directly below it in the pattern.
- The word ‘mathematics was first used around 6 BC by Pythagoreans. I wonder if any 21st-century words like ‘wifi’ or ‘selfie’ will still be in use centuries from now!
- The maths symbols we use for addition (+) and subtraction (-) have only been in use since the 16th Before that, everything was written in words. Imagine how long it would take to complete your homework if we didn’t have those symbols.
Who would have thought that the history of maths could be so interesting?
Now that you have been amazed by some historical maths facts, be prepared to be wowed by these cool maths facts! Here goes:
- Forty is the only number to be spelled in alphabetical order.
- If you were in a group of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that two people in the group will share a birthday.
- Think of a number and multiply it by 4. Now add the digits in the answer together, and you will find the sum is always 3. Wow! Go on, try it!
- A number is always divisible by 3 if you can add the digits together and you get a number divisible by 3. For example, with 372 we add 3, 7 and 2 to get 12. Add the 1 and 2 together to get 3, which is divisible by 3, so 372 is also divisible by 3.
Don’t forget about all the free fun maths games available online too. You can have a play around with a few on 5th May to join in World Maths Day. Here are a few of my favourites:
Super Maths Bowling – Multiplication
This is a brilliant game of skill and speed. The objective is to answer the multiplication questions as quickly as you can. The faster you answer, the more control you have over your shots at bowling – the speed of your shots slows down when you answer quickly. But watch out…if you make mistakes or take too long to answer, it is super speedy and VERY difficult to aim!
You can play it by clicking here:
Maths Race – Multiplication
If you love racing games, you will love this! Control your race car with the arrow keys and answer the multiplication questions you meet as you make your way around the track. Crash into the piles of tyres on the track showing the answer to your multiplication questions to get points. You can play this game by clicking on the link below:
Multiplication Tile Crash
In this game, you have to quickly find the multiplication equation to match the target answer. Highlight it on the grid and the tiles disappear and the others crash down. The object of the game is to clear the grid as quickly as possible. Here is the link for this game:
You can also find loads of other great maths sites on my blog post about maths games.
There are loads of ways to have fun on World Maths Day. Have fun!
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