Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SEG’s Maths Amazing Race

Morning Briefing with Chong Boon Sec students
On Tuesday morning, September 9, 2014, SEG hosted Maths Amazing Race, a series of mathematics challenges for Chong Boon Secondary School students. The objective of this event was to trigger the students’ learning interest in polytechnic mathematics through interactive and fun activities.

The event also gave prospective students a chance to experience the facilities at School of Engineering (SEG) and learn from the lecturers there. SEG students were also on hand to guide the students and bonded with them through the various activities.

At 9am, there was a briefing session on the Maths Amazing Race in LTQ-7. After the briefing, all teams received an envelope consisting of clues that led them to their respective first station to begin the Race. The Chong Boon students were divided into 14 teams of 3 to 5 students.

There were 8 different stations around the campus: Garden at Block P, Aerospace Lab at Block R, Video Wall at Block S, Hall of Innovation at Block S, MSC Shopping Arcade, NYP Stadium, McDonalds at block A, and Library at Block A. 


The students were given 10 minutes to solve the mathematics problem at each station. There were also student helpers and lecturers at each station to note down of the timing of each group. If the students did not complete the question within the time limit, there was a penalty.

The group that completed all eight stations within the shortest time was declared the champion.
At the Garden at Block P, students had to find the height of a tree using trigonometry. Students had to measure the distance from the bottom of the tree to where a helper was standing. They also had to use the clinometer app to measure various angles.

Garden at Blk P
At the “Lift of an Aeroplane” station at Aerospace Lab at Block R, students had to find the “lift” (force that directly opposes the weight of an airplane) by measuring the length of the wing, and finding the total surface area of both wings on actual size A380 plane by using the formula given.
Measuring the model aeroplane
At the “Bricks” station that was located at the Video Wall at Block S, students had to count how many bricks were used in the configuration given, and find a formula for the total number of bricks used.
Bricks Station
At the “What is Wrong with Trigonometry” station at Block S’ Hall of Innovation, students had to apply two different formulas to solve a trigonometry question. They had to compare both answers they calculated to find the correct solution to the problem.

At the “Surface Area of a Cube” station at MSC Shopping Arcade, students were given an origami cube. They were required to find the surface area of the cube in terms of x.


At the “Blow Wind Blow” station at NYP Stadium, students had to blow bubbles and let the wind carry them, and then find the average speed of the wind using a stopwatch and recording the distances the bubbles travelled.  

At the “Angry Bird” station that was located at McDonalds, students had to find the quadratic equation of the path that an angry bird flies by using Substitution or Completing the Square.

At the “Which Day of the Week is Your Birthday” station located at the Library, students had to find out which day of the week PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong’s and Justin Bieber’s birthday fell on by using some unique codes given.
At the Library looking for birth dates
At around 12pm, when all the groups had finished the 8 stations, all the students and teachers had some refreshments before they headed back inside the lecture theatre for a prize presentation and debrief session. SEG student volunteers also prepared a video display of photos and videos taken during the Race for Chong Boon Secondary School students.

The students certainly enjoyed the experience as they won vouchers and saw their hard work paid off when they solved all the questions for the Maths Amazing Race.



“After many months of discussion and preparation work with my team members, I am very glad that the Maths Amazing Race has come to fruition. I am very pleased to know that my students find it very fun and engaging. However, without the strong support of colleagues from SEG, student ambassadors from SEG Student Advocacy Programme and student volunteers from Polytechnic Foundation Programme, this activity will never be a successful one," said Mr Ong Choon Wei, assistant manager, SEG. 


By Tay Jia Min, Year 2, Diploma in Electrical Engineering with Eco-Design


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Jia Min is doing her Diploma in Electrical Engineering with Eco- Design. Other than reading novels and watching television shows, she also enjoys folding origami and listening to music during her free time.

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