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MAY, 1997


Mega Mathematics

The MegaMath project is intended to bring "unusual and important mathematical ideas to elementary school classrooms so that young people and their teachers can think about them together".

Large image map on the home page with smaller such maps for each unit (although the user is offered a text only option). The site is very colorful and uses large print and graphics which make it suitable for all ages.

In addition to the choice of navigational menus, the user is also given help with selecting an approach to the site with browsing hints and additional information sections for teachers, students and mathematicians.

This is math like you've probably not seen before. This website is an extension of the "This is MegaMathmatics" project which sends speakers to visit classrooms with "Stories and Activities for Mathematical Thinking and Problem Solving" and which also develops new activities. Basically, the authors love math, education and children and have decided to create something to tie all that together -- and this is it. The material here is provided so that students and their teachers can "experience mathematics in ways it is experienced by mathematicians and scientists." The concept is simple -- by using speculation in math lessons it becomes more interesting and students learn better what they are interested in. The activities at the site all involve hands-on exploration and provide opportunities for mathematical thinking, problem-solving and communication. For students, the website presents math as knots, logic, infinity, and imaginary shapes, not just numbers, and for teachers the materials have been made with the assumption that there is little or no experience with the mathematical topics they cover. The project is designed to be approached as a discovery for both student and teacher and offers extensive online help. In addition, teachers can receive the accompanying workbook for free! The premise behind this site is that most of these topics are not usually discussed until mathematics graduate school but that young students would enjoy the concepts and approach as well; probably even increase their interest in math. It's a well-planned, extremely user-friendly site that teachers, educators, parents and students alike will learn a lot from.