South Africa
Maths is for everyone
Posted by Bambanani Primary School, South Africa on 6 July 2020

With the recent spate of covid infections and the reintroduction of learners back at school, washing our hands is one of the best defences against infecting ourselves and infecting others. To be current and relevant in the context of new challenges, the GSS team have adapted their strategy to not only help and support the teachers in delivering good curriculum-linked environmentally-themed lessons but also workshop teachers and learners with updated, credible information about the corvid virus. As part of the infection control, the team set up tippy taps to enable more opportunity for learners to wash their hands in a water wise way. Using curriculum linked Maths outcomes, they were then tasked to do a water audit comparing the water savings between normal taps and tippy taps. In this short essay, Andile Zulu speaks about the importance of maths in our lives. After all it is improving not just literacy but scientific thinking applied maths and evidence-based reasoning that will help to guide us all through the murkiness of disinformation, myths, conspiracy theories and unfounded hype. Andile writes, “ Today in our school we visited by Mrs Julia. She was going to teach us how to save water. She set up tippy taps and taught us how to wash our hands properly over a 20 second period by singing the Happy Birthday song twice.

We them measured the water under a normal tap and worked out that we waste over 1.5 litres when we use normal taps. We then learnt to convert ml to litres and litre to ml and from here we worked out that we would save over 3000 litres per day ( or 3/5 of a jojo) tank if we just swapped normal taps for tippy taps. This shows how important Maths is to work out not just water saved, but lots of different things like money savings, investment and profits. Even if you are a nurse, social worker or Engineer you need to use Mathematics every day. In English I write confusing sentences but with maths everyone understands.

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