Scottish Mathematical Council: Maths in Motion

A series of videos looking at Maths in Motion, created by the Scottish Mathematical Council for Maths Week Scotland 2023.

A close up cropped imaged showing different gears layered on top of each other.

Welcome to ‘Maths in Motion, a series of videos looking at motion in maths, and created by the Scottish Mathematical Council for Maths Week Scotland 2023. Each video is accompanied by a brief description. Most suitable for upper primary. Have fun!

Video 1: Monday

Here we introduce the set of five videos for the week, explaining that some activities appear throughout the week.

Today we have three sections: Penalty Predictor, Hampden History, and Penalty Percentages.

In Penalty Predictor, Jerry introduces a game based on guessing whether or not penalties are scored by Heart of Midlothian Women Football Club. He also invites you to consider which the way the ball will move, and asks you to share your ideas with classmates. There are five penalties to watch. What Maths in Motion is important here?

Andy Kerr, Visitor Attraction Manager at the Scottish Football Museum, helps out with Hampden History. He provides some facts and figures about Hampden Park and poses some investigations for you to complete.

Mr Orr then introduces Penalty Percentages. He asks some questions about fractions and percentages and offers an activity to try in your gym hall or sports field: can you investigate different penalty spot distances which result in your classmates scoring 75% of their penalties?

Video 2: Tuesday

Today we have Jersey Jumble, more Hampden History, and another Penalty Predictor.

We visit the away dressing room of Hampden Stadium, but Jerry doesn’t remember in which order the players sit. Can you list all the combinations of the 3, 4, and 5 jerseys? How many are there? Was it easier to do on paper, with concrete materials like coloured pens, or with jackets on coat pegs? Jerry then has to do similar with the 2, 6, 8, and 10 jerseys. Can you list the combinations? How many are there? Can you do the same with five jerseys? Can anyone spot the mathematical pattern?

Andy Kerr gives us some background on formations of football teams. Which formation was given and what other formations could you have? He also provides more information on capacity crowds and record-breaking scorelines and poses some more investigations to complete.

We finish off Tuesday with Hearts Women and another Penalty Predictor. Can you improve on your score from Monday?

Video 3: Wednesday

Special Reporter Jerry is covering the Spain vs Scotland football game in Seville. Can you help Jerry organise his trip to Seville? There is lots of maths involved here, including money, time, distances, units, rates, weights, and something called optimisation!

Wednesday’s video finishes off with Hearts Women and another Penalty Predictor. What Maths in Motion is important here?

Video 4: Thursday

We take a detour away from football with Fold and Fly, before offering a little more Hampden History.

In Fold and Fly, we consider the mathematics of paper aeroplanes. We’ll build some simple paper aeroplanes and then test them out. How far can your aeroplane travel and what affects this distance? How high can it fly and what affects this height? How long can your aeroplane stay in the air and what affects this time? How quickly can your aeroplane reach its destination and what affects this time? What mathematics is being used here? Can you investigate what affects your paper aeroplane’s flight? We’ll introduce the concepts of forces here to help you with these questions. Is there anything you can do to your aeroplane’s design to make it fly a certain way?

After our detour in flight, Andy Kerr brings us back to Earth with more Hampden History. He focusses on the Scotland Women’s Football Team and poses some investigations for you.

Video 5: Friday

We finish off the week with a bumper video including Turnstile Time Trials, Penalty Predictor, Free Kick Reporters, Hampden History, and Table Calculations.

In Turnstile Time Trials, we are joined by pupils from Darvel Primary School who visit Rugby Park, home of Kilmarnock Football Club. These pupils help us to calculate how many supporters can get through a turnstile in one minute, and then pose some questions on times and rates.

We have our final episode of Penalty Predictor – last chance for a perfect score!

Leading on from Penalty Predictor we have Free Kick Reporters. Hearts Women provide us with some examples of free kicks. What are the differences between penalties and free kicks, and what mathematics comes in to play with free kicks? Remember, the striker and the goalkeeper might be using different mathematics! We also consider the Maths in Motion of the football and introduce a special effect which makes a football curve! Can you be a Free Kick Reporter and describe the [maths in] motion of the ball, striker, and goalkeeper?

Andy Kerr provides us with some more world records in football and poses some questions and investigations for us.

Finally, in Table Calculations, Jerry joins us in the home dressing room at Hampden Park. He tells us about team talks and what points are awarded for football teams who win, lose, or draw a game. He then poses some questions on what combinations of results would result in a certain number of points. You could make up your own questions using these ideas too!

The Scottish Mathematical Council would like thank the following people and groups for their help and hard work in creating these videos:

  • Pupils from Darvel Primary School;
  • Footballers from Heart of Midlothian Women Football Club;
  • Andy Kerr, Visitor Attraction Manager at the Scottish Football Museum;
  • Kilmarnock Football Club;
  • Jen Malone, Scottish Football Association;
  • Jim Thomson, Chair of the Killie Trust, and of course;
  • Special Reporter, Jerry the Giraffe.

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