Traveling and Learning

We usually conceive group trips and excursions as moments of disconnection and leisure, but what if we combine the enriching experience of a good trip with learning mathematics? Through this article, you will discover how it is possible to make students enjoy themselves with their peers while practising their maths lessons.

Mathematics isn’t boring, but it seems like it.

In an era of rapid technological advancement, change is constant. However, within high school classrooms, the evolution seems to be very limited. This situation contributes to declining student motivation and academic performance, especially in subjects like math, which often lack real-world context in their theoretical instruction (OECD, 2023).

Fortunately, there are solutions. Keep reading to discover how it’s possible to enjoy a magnificent city like Seville in a group while improving maths comprehension!

Don’t forget the calculator in your luggage!

You might be thinking that Seville is a fantastic destination to organise a school trip, but when we think of the city of flamenco and sun, mathematics hardly comes to mind, right? You could turn this concept upside down by combining mathematics learning with enigmas, amazing stories, teamwork, and, of course, a good trip!

Seville, Source: Canva

Mathematics and Architecture, a love story.

The first step you need to take is – no surprises! – to find together a good travel destination. Let’s imagine you’re going to Seville, planning to practice maths. For this, you need to select the lessons you are going to explain during the trip. If there is a maths real-world application that fits perfectly with your objective, it’s Geometry and Trigonometry.

The idea is to present the topic, the theoretical basis and the formulas in class and then to do real-world application exercises on the shapes, figures, and buildings of the city. Dozens of exercises on symmetry, proportions, and measurements of heights and angles can be developed just by looking at the buildings of Seville.

Sounds great, right? Let’s see how to do it!

Of course, convincing a group of teenagers to do trigonometry exercises while travelling is quite a challenge; this is where VisitMath and its gamification learning process comes in. VisitMath is a project developed to provide teachers with guides, tours and resources specially designed to help educators and to make the students more willing to learn during the trip.

Thanks to VisitMath tours, students can discover a city: they will visit different points in the city while learning new facts through catchy stories and solving maths puzzles and enigmas.

Students must use the knowledge they learned in class to solve geometry exercises, for example, by observing buildings and sculptures across the city while having fun with the process!

At the end of the adventure, the students will have a wonderful time acquiring new knowledge, practising the lessons, and having fun with their friends in a new place!

Students, Source: Canva

Why not give it a try?

Now, let’s go back to the city of Seville! Buildings and monuments such as the Cathedral, La Giralda, La Torre del Oro, the Plaza de España, the Triana Bridge, and even the layout of the streets of the Old Town are filled with structures and shapes that can be very useful when creating the exercises for each stage.

Why not give it a try and create your own mathematical tour of Seville, for example? Have a look at our “How our cities can help teach mathematics” guide and our “Pedagogical guide for math field tours” to know more about engaging maths tours.

As you have surely noticed, a well-prepared trip can not only help students improve their relationship with maths but also allow them to enjoy an unforgettable experience with their peers, discovering that there is a whole world beyond the calculator.

Tourism is one of the most enriching activities in people’s lives, and through this approach, it becomes the perfect tool to combine fun and learning!

Stay tuned for our upcoming resources; the VisitMath tours will soon be available on our website!


Bibliography

OECD. (2023). PISA 2022 Results (Volume I): The State of Learning and Equity in Education. https://doi.org/10.1787/53f23881-en

Sevilla City Office. (n.d.) Monumentos de Sevillahttps://sevillacityoffice.es/materiales/Sevilla-Monumentos-Esp.pdf

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