A Visit to Numberland
Farriha Mastur Sana
A visit to Numbernagar, the Maths Activity Centre, is both an educational and entertaining experience. Mathematics could be fun, if taught the way Numbernagar does. It has been developed by Brainstars, a Bangalore based company. The idea is to rid the kids of the fear of maths and take them on a voyage of numbers.
There is no getting away from numbers wherever we go. We encounter them whatever we do, the city we live, the distances we travel on rails or roads, the deals we make and the shapes that we come across.
‘NumberNagar’ is a hall where space could be used for any mathematical activity. As one enters, a wall mounted montage displays 36 mathematicians, both men and women. The Zero Wall explains the origin of zero with a Zero Suitcase where a series of cards tell the story.
The Pi (π) has never stopped to amaze us all. With its approximate value of 22/7, it can be used to find volume of tennis ball, a spindle or a birthday cap. The kids can rotate the three-section Pi Pillar to arrive at the various formulas related to, say globe, dome, hour-glass, lunch-box, cone, car steering or a tyre.
God has created the human body in beautiful proportions. These ratios and the proportions of human body were ably explained by Leonardo da Vinci through his Vitruvian Man enclosed within a square overlapping a circle. The NumberNagar lets a student explore the wisdom embedded in the diagram made in 1490.
In the centre of the hall a Pythagorus Tree provides the basic ideas of geometry through a series of squares and triangles with origami fruits hanging underneath.
A city map could also be a good way to learn various concepts of mathematics. Lamp posts, jogging tracks, water towers, spires of churches, gopurams of temples and minars of the mosques, public taps, traffic signs, culverts all are etched in visuals. There is something to learn from them all.
The NumberNagar triggers curiosity in children. It bring forth the relationship of numbers to our daily lives, be it time management, calendar, sports, shapes and proportions and measurements and calculations. I am told Brainstars office in Bangalore has a permanent prototype for visitors. Aspiring students can contact: Anupama Prakash at 9945002529, or Pavan at 9663090123 or email:[email protected] or visit its website: www.brainstarsindia.com .
Farriha Mastur Sana is studying at Sahyadri School, Pune.