BAMM @ Your School is one of the outreach projects at the Department of Mathematics. Through this program, we take fun, engaging, and deep mathematics workshops to schools in the Columbus Metropolitan area.

Just on November 21st, we had the opportunity to visit a fourth grade group at Daniel Wright Elementary School. Erika Roldan led a workshop on Mondrian numbers. Students worked in pairs and received an envelope containing red, yellow, blue, and white rectangles of all possible integer dimensions between 1 and 5. “Today you are going to become painters with these pieces”, said Erika.

Their first task was to classify the pieces according to their shape, in other words they had to make groups of congruent rectangles. Then they were asked to find all possible ways of building a 3 by 3 square using non-congruent pieces. When finished, they went on to do the same for a 4 by 4 and a 5 by 5 square.

Their last task was to compute the Mondrian number for all the possible configurations they had found. The Mondrian number of one of these such configurations is the difference between the maximum and the minimum areas of its pieces. To be able to do these, students registered their configurations on their notebooks. Some students made a lot of progress in the task, but even those who weren’t as fast practiced their geometrical skills and had a fun math class.

BAMM @ Your School is free and its only subject to time availability. Volunteers are very much welcomed and appreciated. Contact us, if you would like to visit a school with us.