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  • Writer's pictureelenaburan

Apollinaria, and why mathematics is needed


Apollinaria was again in a mathematics lesson, where the teacher tried to explain to the children why it is important and useful for them to know mathematics, and what mathematics looks like in everyday life.


“Dear children,” the teacher said, “mathematics surrounds us everywhere. For example, in summer, you were on the beach and built a castle in the sand. You had to bring two or even three buckets of water to wet the sand. One bucket and two more buckets equals three buckets of water. When you built a castle, you took pebbles to strengthen the walls of the castle. And so you could, for example, take four pink pebbles and five gray pebbles, and you laid them out one by one in a certain order. And this was a numerical order. For example, the first pebble was pink, and the second was gray, and the third was pink again. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth are ordinal numbers.


Nice. You may also remember that the windows in the castle could be square, round, and the roof of the castle could be triangular. Triangle, rectangle, circle are geometric figures, as they are called in mathematics. Do you remember that you drew lines in the sand, they were straight, curved, long, short lines? The lines may or may not intersect. It could also be wavy lines.


And now, in mathematics lessons, you and I will remember all the knowledge that we received in the summer, being among nature. And we will do calculations to count the pebbles and find the length of the line, the intersection points. You and I will do a lot of drawing and counting, writing in notebooks with coloured pens so that we could understand better.


You also need to prepare a ruler and a rubber so that you can correct your drawings and draw a straight line neatly and accurately in your notebook. Mathematics requires accuracy.


When you draw lines from one point to another, you will understand that a line can have a direction and coordinates. And this is used when we draw maps of the area and plot a route. And scientists can also follow the migration of birds or the clouds. They count how many clouds and in what direction, and at what speed, are heading towards our city in order to give you and me a weather forecast.


When you grow up, you will want to help people count something or plan a route, calculate how much, for example, water and food will be needed for six people to hike along a mountain path that goes from our city to a neighbouring city. You'll also want to know the wind speed and air temperature, so you know what clothes to wear.


So, mathematics surrounds us everywhere. We use numbers, arithmetic, geometric figures, and we perform numerous mathematical operations every day to keep our lives in order, without chaos."


“What is chaos?” thought Apollinaria, “Chaos, is it the absence of mathematics, or is it another mathematics?... What if we play a game...”


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