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  Home > Practice > Examples > Crop circles challenge: playing with maths as a game  

Crop circles Challenge: playing with maths as a game

Everyone knows, maths has always been trial and delight for students. There are those who fall in love with it and maths becomes even their work and those who cannot put up with it like a heavy food. Palmira Ronchi, one of the Xplora teachers, and her student Angelarita de Marzo, try to show how necessary is to know maths and how many various application there are.

Of course the approach is very important, it shouldn't be hard, but stimulating. Inciting the study of maths, using games or friendly methods, can boost the creative vein hidden in each student and make learning maths more pleasant.

The project “Crop circles challenge”, promoted and carried out by three European teachers - Palmira Ronchi from Italy, Ivan De Winne from Belgium and Dimitris Kastaniotis from Greece - aims at experimenting new methodologies and technologies to study maths. The project has won the Etwinning 2005 first prize as “digital resources for being innovative” .

Learn more about Crop Circles and their maths applications
Crop circles, actually combinations of different geometric figures, are made by "jokers" (funny artists) who use fields as their canvas. Instead of colours they cut corn using unknown tools during the night. Crop circles appear suddenly in the morning in various countries even if they seem to be more frequent in Great Britain. Seen from above they look like paintings without a frame.

The challenge among the European students is based on reproducing these forms accurately using geometric figures with the help of Geogebra, an open source software, which allows them to draw or hide objects or points of them; thus creating harmonious compositions. Complete drawings are coloured, adding a bit of fantasy, just as a frame.
Students compete with each other, and get a deeper knowledge of Geogebra potentialities within curricular studies.

The “Crop circles Challenge“ project
The project has been carried out by an Italian class which has challenged a class from Belgium and a class from Greece. They are students who will sit for their final exam in a few months but their creativity has often been obscured by traditional methodologies. Their work shows what is needed to stimulate their wit and bring maths back to its real essence: a subject that instead of complicating things wants to give students meanings and logic.

Do you like to join them in the “Crop Circles challenge”?
You can find a lesson plan in many different languages  English - French - Dutch - Italian - Greek - Spanish – Romanian and Polish, to start and construct a first crop circle: http://www.vivante.it/com@net/crop_circles.html.

Read more:
Crop circles Italian website 
Crop circles Belgian website 
Crop circles Greek              
Spanish Galician Crop circles website 

Crop Circle and Etwinning
Crop Circle and ElearningEuropa


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