2013 Maths and Nature

2013 Maths and Nature

2013 is the third year of the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity (UNDB) and three other International Years:

My series of articles on Biodiversity activities in the Home Education Network’s magazine Otherways, continued with the focus on the Maths of Planet Earth , using mainly the concept of shape, as a tool to investigate biodiversity, and the environment.

There were other things happening  at the start of the year which went in to issue 135

  • firstly reporting on the Wimmera Home Educators Group 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer session in Living Things  when our families shared special living things from their farms.
  • an interesting article had appeared in the Age on the future of education, which though not envisaging home education, seemed to have much that applied to our experience, in   Are we the revolt
  • the new Australian Curriculum in English, Maths, Science and History is being implemented in Victoria this year as AusVELS, for which I wrote a summary for home eductors Aust Curriculum
  • While I had focussed my biodiversity articles on literacy in 2012, I was now transitioning to a numeracy focus and provided a bridging article and introduction to the Maths of Planet Earth in Literacy to Numeracy 
  • and the biodiversity article for the Maths of Planet Earth which focussed on the shape of leaves as a way to better know Nature and discover biodiversity in Maths in nature.

Shape Sleuths at the Creek (issue 136) followed on from this with a suite of three activities to get to know a local site better . Using Apex Park, on the Yarriambiack Creek at Warracknabeal,  shape based activities are described to cover the plants, creatures,  land, water and air  – the whole environment. There is a further section of activities for the International Year of Water Co-operation.

Number Sleuths up in Space (issue 137) takes a different look biodiversity – from the point of view of what it might look like if you jump back from space.  But this is really an activity to use some basic number operations that will give an idea of the journey through the atmosphere that one man made when he jumped into it in late 2012.

Look down, shape sleuths on Earth (issue 138)  suggests a way to explore the questions about what could be seen and learnt about biodiversity during the descent from space in issue 137. It uses satellite images and maps on the web, as well as recent photos from a flight between Dubai and Casablanca.


this page begun on 25 april 2013, updated 30 August, 6 December

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  1. Pingback: MPE, space jump and biodiversity views and Marrakesh | enviroed4all.com.au