From the trenches: design adventures with “Curves in Space”

What happens when different professionals come together to design a c-book unit about curves in space?
From April to July 2015, Stefanos, George, Katerina, Dimitra, Sylvie, Giannis and Marianthi took up a design adventure.


The “curves in space” group of the Greek CoI in their “digital personas”: each member creates an avatar character, as an icebreaker activity before the beginning of each cycle of work.

Curvature –especially spiral curves- is an area in mathematics, aesthetically and culturally inspiring, though somewhat neglected in formal mathematics curricula. Starting from this pedagogical preoccupation, the group worked for a period of about four months, to build the c-book unit “Curves in Space”.
The story they thought of is a mystery story. It begins with a burglary in a scientific laboratory and the theft of an ancient artifact. Everyone is perplexed when they discover that the thief also destroyed the state of the art 3D printer, but only after printing some of sort of spiral mechanism. Thus, the help of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes is sought, who arrives to lead the investigation along with Dr. Watson. He soon realizes that if they are to solve this case, the key lies in the mathematics. As they proceed in the investigation, they meet the archaeologist-adventurer Lara Croft and they begin to understand the mathematics behind spirals and other curves in space.

Selected snapshots from widgets from the “curves in space” cbook unit.

While interacting with characters of popular fiction, students of upper secondary education are introduced to the concept of curvature, represented both in 2D and in 3D, this made possible through a variety of widget factories (Malt2, Cinderella, Malt, Geogebra, TurtleWorlds).
The group is currently working in a new c-book unit called “Curves in Space…the return!”.

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