New trail brings maths to life

9 May 2017

Maths Eyes
The new Maths Eyes Trail on the University of Waikato campus.

Launching on Friday 26 May, a new maths trail on the University of Waikato Hamilton campus aims to bring maths into our everyday lives.

The launch celebrates New Zealand's first Maths Eyes trail, an initiative of the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network, funded by the Lottery Grants Board and supported by the University of Waikato Faculty of Education’s National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults.

The trail, at 1.6km long, includes 16 signs in English and Te Reo Māori displaying real-life maths problems across different levels of ability and pointing out features in the landscape to encourage walkers to notice and think about the mathematics in their environment. The trail experience will be enhanced by connecting to the Maths Eyes Chat Bot, through the Facebook Messenger app. The interactive Bot acts as a buddy along the trail, answering questions and providing hints.

Free to use, following existing pathways on the campus and accessible to all, the trail will provide opportunities for linking education (at early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and adult level) and community.

National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults’ Centre Director, Professor Diana Coben, says the trail will serve as a platform for adults and children, teachers and students, and community groups on which to share their maths eyes.

“It will enable them to recognise and be intrigued by the mathematics all around them. Opening your maths eyes promotes the usefulness and beauty of mathematics. Everyone has maths eyes - they just need to be opened.”

Established by Waikato University’s National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults in 2014, the Waikato Numeracy and Literacy Network aims to take a collaborative, community approach to building capability in literacy and numeracy, supporting learning opportunities and career pathways in the Waikato. Made up of literacy and numeracy educators, employers, and representatives of iwi, hapū, non-profit organisations, community groups, government and non-government organisations, the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network established a Facebook group to provide a forum for members to share ideas, questions, discussion and resources.

The trail starts at the University of Waikato car park 2B, off Knighton Road, with an opening ceremony held at the trail’s start on Friday 26 May at 11am. Whether you are a mathematics enthusiast, keen to build confidence in your own maths knowledge and skills or support your children’s learning, all are welcome to attend the opening ceremony and walk the Maths Eye trail.

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