Published on December 15, 2018
Creating art is probably not what you expect to see students doing in a mathematics course, but that’s exactly what some of our 2018 Year 10 mathematicians did when they channelled their inner Picasso to create an artwork using only mathematical equations.
The exercise is part of our Extension Math Program which runs for two years for selected students. The final topic in the program is a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) unit that incorporates the data and non-linear topics to create a piece of art.
“In this topic, students use online simulators, conduct science practicals, use data loggers and excel spreadsheets to come up with mathematical equations that represent real life scenarios,” says Glenn Death, HVGS mathematics teacher.
“Every line, every ‘stroke’ in their work is an equation that they have developed and tested. Some involve hundreds (and thousands) of equations.”
Mathematics and art may seem like two very different disciplines, but they do share a special synergy and art is a fantastic way to visualise mathematics in the real world. It’s also a very engaging way for students to learn.
“Our mathematicians have responded very well to this activity and their artworks are fantastic,” says Glenn. “The engagement from students in this task is evident through their final masterpieces. They often remark that it’s a new way for them to learn, but they like it!”
When asked to provide feedback about the STEAM unit, students said:
“What I liked most about this unit was the puzzle-solving approach to determining the formulae and how they relate to scientific principles.”
“It was interesting to see how mathematics learnt in high school can apply to everyday life.”
“The simulations gave me a new perspective to mathematical knowledge.”
“I like being able to visually see how the equation and the relationship is then replicated in real life.”
Click on the links below to see their work:
- Adam (Press the play button on a and f to get the ball moving)