6 ideas for using syringes in a mathematical way outside – explore outdoor maths.
Blog By Juliet Robertson, Creative Star Learning Ltd.
I’ve always used syringes for water play, mark making, as air pumps in technology projects and for having fun in the snow. I’ve always chosen the biggest syringes I could find – 100ml ones.
But this set, a present from a friend, fuelled the mathematical fire within me. Have a close look at the sizes and see what you notice – this is just the sort of thing to ask older primary aged children.
Can you see:
- The sizes of the syringes, as well as increasing in capacity, are mathematically linked.
- The numbers in the squares allow you to quickly measure a smaller quantity than the total volume of liquid possible. The three biggest syringes (10, 20 & 50ml) are all multiples of the smallest two (2 & 5ml).
- The capacity of the syringes are all multiples of 3 – 3, 6, 12, 24 and 60ml. Again this allows for lots of quick mental calculations.
The syringes provide further learning opportunities:
1. Can you accurately measure the capacity of each syringe?
Show children how to fill the syringes to precisely the correct quantity and how to remove the air bubble.
2. Is there a relationship between the capacity of the syringe and the distance you can squirt water?
How could you set up a fair test to measure this?
3. Does the capacity of a syringe affect the splat it makes on the ground?
Or is this dependent upon ground surface and inclination and height or angle at which the water is squirted onto the ground?
4. What is the longest continuous line you can make with a syringe?
This challenge is surprisingly tricky. Your class will needed to develop skill of using a syringe accurately to create a continuous line. Then there is the task of measuring the length of the line. This is also a good opportunity to practice conversions between metres and centimetres. Be aware that the lines can be surprisingly long, even from a syringe with a small capacity.
5. What is the best syringe strategy for a water fight?
For example, if you could choose between having 1 x 60ml syringe owned by one person or having 20 people on your team, all with 3ml syringes, which side is most likely to win? You will have to agree a set of rules for winning the fight and also what behaviours are acceptable or not. Is there a particular combination of syringes for the best chance of wining?
6. Finally, it is also worth considering a conversation about the medical uses and purposes of a syringe. A discussion may also be needed about what to do if you find a syringe that has been left as litter on the ground.
To find out more and explore further ideas for learning maths outside, come along to our CPD day on 21st September, run by Circle of Life Rediscovery and Juliet Robertson.
Outdoor Maths, Place Value, Nature Counts.
Date: Friday 21st September 2018
Lead Facilitator: Juliet Robertson
Where: Mill Woods, East Sussex
Time: 09.30 – 15.30, please arrive by 09.15
Booking: Please CLICK HERE to complete our online booking form where you will also find payment details.
Whether you love or loathe the subject, this course will open your ideas to the potential of any outdoor space as a context for learning maths. We will have a lot of fun as we explore ways of:
- Ensuring fan-ta-stick interactive approaches to mental maths
- Developing simple lesson structures that are open-ended and begin with what the children know and can do.
- Taking a playful approach to maths that develops children’s confidence in this subject
- Using children’s natural curiosity about the world around them to develop data handling and analysis skills
- Creating a maths-rich outdoor space or school grounds
This course is particularly suitable for those who work with children in KS1 and KS2 including Forest School practitioners, primary teachers, SEND specialists and outdoor educators. Early Years educators may also find the day of value. The course is backed up by oodles of resources on a password protected blog post and the many blog posts that are readily accessible on the Creative STAR website. BOOK NOW.
Tel: 01273 814226