Two and a half years ago an ongoing global phenomenon in mathematics education and outreach commenced. Thousands of maths teachers, club organizers, outreach leaders, parents and maths enthusiasts from over 150 different countries and territories opened their classroom doors to students or sat at their kitchen tables with their children and engaged in a common, joyous piece of school-relevant mathematics. In Saudi Arabia, pony-tailed girls played with coloured magnetic discs stuck to a metal wall. In Australia, high-school students drew illustrations on white boards and students in Tanzania did the same on chalk boards. In Zimbabwe, students made hollows in the ground and excitedly pushed pebbles back and forth between the holes. And in Serbia, middle-school students played with dots in boxes on their laptops though an online app.
All was volunteer, all was grassroots, and all was propelled by our beautiful community of teachers across the globe simply wanting to share joyous, meaningful, connected, and genuine mathematics with their wonderful students. This community has reached over 6 million students solely through maths.
What kind of classroom-relevant mathematics has the power to enthral students across the entire planet, transcending language, borders, and technology? And what flames were lit to first propel this mathematics across the globe?
Allow me to introduce you the “mind blowing” mathematics of Exploding Dots.