Today was sports day, and it was great. While there are a lot of activities, since there are so many children, the vast majority spend the vast majority of time waiting in the stands. Sure, there was some sport going on somewhere, and the occasional heated race ran us by, calling for our attention and support, but other times there were significant lulls. For me then, the most fun was had in teaching a dozen or so Year 8s yet more maths, poetry, economics and breakdance.
Sports are actually packed full of mathematics. It kicks off the with the discus, where I noted that the athlete first traces a circle as they turn, and then the disc can be modelled as a tangent from the point of release. This had the dual benefit of offering another opportunity to talk about the idea of ‘geometric modelling.’
A reasonable approximation to the…
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