What if we had more than two legs? How strong is our hair? Can you make a rocket launcher in class – and change your design after 15 minutes? These are just some of the activities with a really strong maths element that provide opportunities for children to develop their numeracy skills, ranging from simple counting and measuring skills to data handling and interpretation.
Louise Stubberfield, Explorify's primary lead, says: "Specific mathematical skills – measuring, estimating, recording data – are needed for the investigations and the problem-solving activities. Explorify helps them to practise explaining how they know something too, using the correct vocabulary."
A What If? activity asks about a world with no clocks, which opens up a debate about numbers and time, and how they are important. What happened before clocks? How is time divided? Why do we have time? This can be a fantastic way to get children thinking about time before the topic is explored more fully by the class or to reflect and assess what they’ve learnt.
If you’re after hands-on maths, try the more practical activities, like the Mission Survive activity Ice Lollies. It’ll get your class thinking about how to stop an ice lolly melting, plan and execute an experiment to test their ideas and record their results. You’ll be asking them to think about what materials are the best insulators, and monitoring how fast the lollies melt in their different insulation, using measuring cups and clocks, and then deciding how to interpret and present their data.
Our Newspaper Towers Problem Solver activity is a current favourite with teachers and children – everyone gets newspapers, glue, rubber bands and has to build the highest tower they can. There's lots of scope for practical maths in this fun activity: which tower is the tallest? The widest? The thickest? The strongest? Used the most newspaper? Weighs the most? Are these things all connected? Lynne from Cardonald had a go at the Newspaper Towers activity with her class and saw "excellent team working, technical and measuring skills [today] with the very much loved tower challenge".
We know maths and numeracy are key to our pupils’ success, and science can really bring maths alive, demonstrating its practical application in the real world. We hope our activities show that both science and maths can be the most fun lessons of the week!