The Mathematics Activities for Gifted and Talented Students target Year 10 students attending state and non-state secondary schools who have an interest and keen aptitude in Mathematics. The activities consist of four sessions that are held after school hours. During each session, the students explore the aesthetic aspect of Mathematics and apply mathematical concepts which are not usually discussed in the classroom. The sessions aim at giving the students a holistic experience of the subject by delving into Mathematics arising from historical and geographical contexts. The activities focus on different themes such as Secret Codes, Pythagoras Theorem, Islamic Geometric Patterns and Fibonacci Numbers.
Students explore the world of cryptography, the science of sending secret messages, and investigate the important role Mathematics plays in the field. Students practise encrypting and decrypting messages using different Ciphers. Modular arithmetic and its use in writing secret codes is also discussed.
Pythagoras’ theorem is generally attributed to Pythagoras who lived more than two thousand years ago. However, very few are aware that reference to this theorem dates to centuries before the birth of Christ, hence well before the time of Pythagoras. During the session students investigate different proofs of Pythagoras Theorem and explore different applications of the theorem over the years in the world around us.
Islamic Geometric Designs
The influence of Mathematics in Islamic Culture is particularly evident in geometric patterns adorning beautiful buildings such as the Alhambra Palace in Spain. During the session students explore the aesthetic aspect of Mathematics and appreciate its contribution to art. The students construct intricate geometric designs that form the basis of Islamic geometric designs.
Fibonacci numbers are sequences of numbers that are fundamental to some exceptional mathematical results. Fibonacci Numbers manifest themselves in the natural world and provide proof that the fundamentals of the natural world are mathematical. During the session, students delve into various situations related to the Fibonacci sequence.