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Tawa College taking maths classes in China

Apr 15th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

BON VOYAGE: China-bound Tawa College students Josh Wharton, Claire Middleton, Joanne Denton, Charlotte Hastie, Tony Zhou and Noor Alrawe. Photo Talia Carlisle

TAWA College is taking maths to new lengths and heights – all the way to China and up the world’s second tallest building.

This Saturday 24 students from years 11, 12 and 13 will fly to Beijing with eight maths teachers.

There they will go up the world’s second tallest viewing platform, travel on the world’s fastest train, see the longest bridge of its kind in Beijing and visit the Great Wall of China.

Lynley MacEwan, head of maths at Tawa College, says some people are intrigued about why a maths class would go anywhere, let alone China, but the students aren’t complaining.

“Shopping and more shopping,” says deputy head girl Claire Middleton when asked about what she is looking forward to the most.

Sightseeing is on the to-do list for Tawa College head boy, Tony Zhou.

The students have been fundraising since last year, holding sausage sizzles, selling lollies and even getting a hypnotist in to do shows at the school.

“The kids have worked pretty hard,” says Mrs MacEwan. “Some of the kids have fundraised up to $2000 of their $4500 that it’s cost them.”

The idea for the trip was originally planned just for the maths teachers, Mrs MacEwan says.

“There are so many things to see in the world that are mathematical and we’d like to take a trip, so why not take a trip and take kids”

Also, Tawa College has previously taken other classes on trips.

“It’s always been seen as languages or classics or history to see countries and people and things like that,” she says.

“With everybody else going on trips we wanted to take a trip. We thought it was fair.”

Mrs MacEwan says the trip will be 50/50 about being a tourist and some mathematical component.

“We’re going to see all the sites that people go to see in China. The Great Wall, the Terracotta Soldiers and Tiananmen Square.”

They will also visit Beijing University and hear a lecture on the history of maths in China.

“We’re hoping to take lots of pictures of geometrical things that we can use in work sheets when we get back, use trigonometry on the height of the roof of the Giant Panda.”

Students will also be asked ”is Tiananmen square a square, what shape is it really?”

Mrs MacEwan says the trip will also benefit students going into engineering or architecture.

“We’re travelling on the fastest train in the world, were going up the second highest building in the world, were going over the longest bridge in the world and all of these things have been developed by engineers.”

Mrs MacEwan couldn’t pick just one thing she is most looking forward to.

“I’m just excited to get there, to eat scorpions on skewer sticks and bike around Tiananmen Square.”

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