Final Day at NCTM

19 04 2015

I started the day by attending “Putting the Self Confidence, Excitement and Endurance Back in Math with Vanessa Cleaver and Marcelline Carr.

We solved several problems concerning the people of Freckleham who have between 1 freckle and 1 hair and 3 freckles and 3 hairs each.


We worked out how many different types of Frecklehammers exist. When Frecklehammers meet one says I have more…..(freckles/hairs) than you.  We then worked out how many times this statement was made when all the different Frecklehammers met together. As we didn’t know if the statement was made once for freckles and once for hair, or not, we had 2 different possible correct answers.

We then rotated around 4 work stations as we solved a variety of other problems. The station which was most relevant to the Australian curriculum had 10 sets of bathtub statements in the 4 categories shown below.



This was fun, challenging and engaging.

Thank you ladies.

Next was a session on using Desmos to draw Algebra Art. That needs to be another post to do justice to the topic. 

Likewise, for the session modelling noise canceling headphones with Trigonometric Functions. This session used Geogebra and Geometer Sketchpad. The iPad version of Geogebra does not have sound so this post will be after I get home and hence have computer access once again.

The closing session with Mike North was informative, entertaining and mind boggling too. 

To supplement the theme of the conference he quoted this.


He then proceeded to share some of the fascinating problems he’s solved, such as creating adhesive with a switch on/ switch off function based on the adhesive nature of geckos. 

In his work for Discovery Channel he has worked with a group to design a personal air bag, a traffic busting truck which drives over other vehicles, a 6 legged vehicle, a 3D printed firefighter pack, a drone to deliver a buoy to a swimmer in need on a beach without lifeguards and now has his own online TV show “In the Making” which currently has 35 episodes covering innovation and technogy helping the planet. 

Although many of the creations were beyond the realm of many of the audience, the session ably demonstrated the scope of problem solving with the right team members. 

He closed by stating that soon there won’t be careers. We’ll just keep using our abilities to solve problems.

This was a suitable note in which to leave the teachers of the future designers and creators.




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