The National Science Week, South Africa
This year’s National Science Week activities took place in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) province, South Africa. AIMSSEC embraced the opportunity to showcase its educational Professional Development activities by registering to be one of the presenters. The two presenters, Toni Beardon and Tejumade Ogundipe managed to put AIMS and AIMSSEC on the map by successfully presenting an article entitled “Numbers in the last 5000 years and numbers in your lives”.
The presentation was given two slots, thanks to the event organiser and coordinator- Ina Smith, one on 1 August 2022 and the other one on 4 August 2022. Toni Beardon and Tejumade Ogundipe presented the same activity to two different audiences who actually comprised two groups of learners from a collective of schools around KZN province, South Africa. Covering numbers right from the early civilisation (development) of number theory to the present-day knowledge of numbers. They smartly gave a preview of the Number Theory, focusing on the Real number system, stretching from Natural numbers, Whole numbers, …, up to Irrational numbers, extending learners’ scope to Complex numbers, and ultimately to Quaternions (4-D numbers used in Applied Mathematics and Physics). The learners were kept engaged throughout the sessions.
See the visual relationship of these numbers (as presented to the learners) below:
DIMC SAMO 3 and MT3 Online Courses
During the first semester of 2022 the AIMSSEC team was enthusiastically engaged in teaching two online courses, viz:
The Differentiation and Inclusion in the Mathematics Classroom (DIMC SAMO 3) Online Course sponsored by Old Mutual which started on 5 February and ran till 5 June 2022. The course is endorsed by SACE for thirty-five Professional Development points. Seventy-seven teachers enrolled for the course. The modules presented on Google Classroom were Pedagogy, IT, Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.
The Mathematical Thinking (MT3) Online Course sponsored by Standard Bank ran from 19 February till 5 June 2022. The course is endorsed by SACE for twenty-five Professional Development points.
Both courses required that students do home study for at least five hours per week. Weekly “To Do Tasks” were discussed on WhatsApp groups per phase and in smaller tutor groups. Three diagnostic tests were completed online after the mathematical content modules were completed and were also discussed during one-hour weekday webinars with feedback from tutors per group. Three summative assignments had to be submitted by the students and the last one was due on 5 June. Four Saturday Webinars were held per course lasting two hours each. Pre- and post-test were conducted. Data was provided to students to complete the Online Courses.
International Day of Mathematics – 14 March
The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is a worldwide celebration. Each year on March 14 all countries will be invited to participate through activities for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces. Click the IDM website for further details https://www.idm314.org. Also visit https://everywhere.idm314.org.
AIMSSEC Professional Development courses
31st Mathematical Thinking (MT) & Language and communication in developing Mathematical concepts courses
AIMSSEC held their 31st Mathematical Thinking (MT) course from 17 – 25 June 2019 at Stellenbosch High School in Stellenbosch. Sixty-eight teachers from four provinces (thirty-five from the Eastern Cape, eighteen from Limpopo, four from KZN, eleven from the Western Cape) attended the nine-day residential part of the course. Over the last sixteen years, more than 2000 teachers have attended the AIMSSEC MT courses.
AIMSSEC also started their first course on “Language and communication in developing Mathematical concepts” with 16 teachers attending the course for the Intermediate Phase. Representatives from each phase group were highly appreciative of the course during their feedback sessions.
The photograph below shows 11 teachers from the Western Cape who attended the MT 31 course plus 3 staff members.
Two out of the three teachers sponsored by the Principals Academy had these to say about AIMSSEC MT31 course:
“I would like to thank you for allowing me an opportunity to attend the AIMSSEC course. It was very educational, and I gained a lot of knowledge that will help me to better my teaching and mentoring Maths. I am very grateful for the opportunity that you gave me. If it weren’t for you and your organization, I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity, thank you very much, it’s very appreciated. There is no amount of words that I can put down on paper to show how grateful I am. Thank you”.
“I want to say thank you to the Principals Academy for providing us with an opportunity to empower us further. The AIMSSEC course was great and provided us with more tools and skills to help us teach more effectively, especially with regards to Mathematics. It was really a benefit to us as Maths teachers and also exposed us to teachers from other provinces and the strategies they were using. Thank you for the opportunity”.
30th Mathematical Thinking Course
The photo below shows the whole MT 30 group of twenty-five FET, twenty-five Senior Phase, twenty-six Intermediate Phase teachers and AIMSSEC staff.
AIMSSEC held her 30th Mathematical Thinking (MT) course from 17 – 26 March 2019 at Cape Academy for Mathematics, Science and Technology, in Constantia, Cape Town. Seventy-six teachers from four provinces (forty-six from the Eastern Cape, twenty from Limpopo, six from KZN, four from the Western Cape) attended the ten-day residential part of the course. Over the last sixteen years more than 2000 teachers have attended the AIMSSEC MT courses.
AIMSSEC is grateful for the three volunteer presenters from the UK: Dr Julia Anghileri, Toni Beardom and Mr Chris Clarke who facilitated on the course. The three local South African presenters were Ingrid Mostert, Sagree Pillay and Stephen Busvi. The AIMSSEC lecturers were Dr Barrie Barnard, Elizabeth Turok and Tejumade Ogundipe. Three AIMSSEC alumni Thlema van Vught, Jonathan Fisher and Andiswa Mpuhlu assisted as classroom teaching assistants while two AIMS South African alumni Buri Gershom and Mxolisi Bhengu were teaching assistants in the computer laboratories. The two administrative staff were Virgenia Davidson and Najwa Chellan.
During the course, the updated App (aimssec.app) was launched. Chris Clarke a previous AIMSSEC teaching assistant, who now owns his own app development business, has developed the app for all types of mobile devices. Smart phones enable teachers to benefit from technology as never before. AIMSSEC has produced high quality, teacher training materials, however, access to them has traditionally been limited to those enrolled on courses. Now through the creation of the AIMSSEC App they can be made much more widely available to anybody with a smartphone.
The final plenary on 26 March was attended by Prof Barry Green, Director of AIMS South Africa who gave the main address. Representatives from each phase group were highly appreciative of the course during their feedback sessions.