Where can mathematicians around the world go to explore RICH mathematics by asking questions, describing observations, and sharing solutions? World-renowned University of Cambridge, of course! Every day a worldwide community of mathematicians comes together on the web at NRICH. NRICH is a mathematics website based in both the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Education and the UK Centre for Mathematical Sciences. The organization strives to offer challenging activities and resources that develop mathematical thinking and problem solving skills. In addition, the organization tries to show the use of mathematics in engaging and meaningful contexts and foster a community where students and teachers collaborate and support each other in developing their mathematical understanding and skills. Stanford University in the US has similar goals and has promoted the University of Cambridge’s efforts by reposting some of their problems as examples of RICH math extensions. What a great show of support and collaboration by higher institutions of learning!
On the NRICH website, after a new live problem is posted for people around the world to solve, students are invited to submit solutions. In April, two fifth-grade Southbury Elementary students, Hallie Plane and Moira Longid, chose to take on a newly posted NRICH geometry extension challenge called “Cut Nets” about the nets of various polyhedrals. The University of Cambridge was inviting students around the world to submit solutions, since no solution had been posted yet. Hallie and Moira collaboratively used their visualization and number skills to observe the faces of the given nets to study the way the shapes would connect. They used their math language to describe the properties of the nets and the completed 3D shapes. Their attention to detail and clear description of their thinking process led to their explanation being chosen to be posted online among many sent in from around the world. Now other math students and educators around the world can view their effort and achievement! Hallie and Moira are wonderful worldwide math ambassadors for District #308.
To see their solution and to learn more about NRICH, visit https://nrich.maths.org/2315/solution.