Film: 5267

Education | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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Teaching of Mathematics at Secondary School level, a mathematics teacher and his students produce a film which shows how mathematics comes into every day life. Alperton High School, Brent, London.1970's

A short cartoon film describes some of mankind greatest mathematical achievements.

Secondary school students are making a film, two students are using a home movie camera to film a girl. The mathematics teacher is in charge of lighting. Close up of the light up girl's face. Close up of the maths teacher talking about measuring distances, he goes to a blackboard and writes a formula that relates illumination and distance. The teacher and the student argue about the importance of mathematics in every day life. The teacher writes "Why Mathematics" on the black board. Students are playing football in the school playground. View of the school. The class listens to the maths teacher who writes "Why Mathematics" on the blackboard. Close up of various students paying attention to the teacher, who asks questions on where does mathematics came into every day life. The students answering questions.
The maths teacher shows the students a cartoon film: lots of cartoon faces which represent communities. A map of the Middle East. Stars in the sky. A Babylonian representation of constalations (Zodiac), the Zodiac is represented by a circle divided in 12. The circle is divided into 360 degrees. A clock with an hour divided into 60 minutes and a minute divided into 60 seconds. A Babylonian archaeology stone with drawings of squares, one square has a circle inserted inside, another has a square inserted inside, another has a losangle inserted inside and the last square has a cross inserted inside. The Maya calendar. An Indian (India) picture with indian numerals and the evolution of these numbers to how present numbers. The zero is introduced which gives rise to modern decimals. The first sectant in Egypt. Geometry began as a practical tool in pyramid building. The theorem of Gauss. The distance of the moon to the earth was measured by Hipparchus using trigonometry, trigonometry was very valuable for early astronomers, navagators and surveyors. Algebraic equations are used to calculate at what age did Diophantus die. Descartes combined algebra, arithmetics and geometry into cartisian coordinates which can be used to express algebraic equations into geometrical shapes and shapes into algebraic equations i.e. Analytical geometry which is the foundation of modern mathematics. End of cartoon film.

Students roll up the blinds in the class room. The maths teacher carries on talking about why mathematics becomes more and more important. Secretarial students. Tables pinned to a board. A student asks a question, the teacher replies and all the students talk at once. The students are walking along a water reservoir (The Metropolitan Water Board) and next to the water works. The inside of the water works, a technician is pulling levers, two students observe him. Close up of water. View of the waterboards' meters which are used to calculate the flow of water from rivers and water beds to the reservoirs. Meter readings are entered onto a sheet. Histograms of rainfall. Students are crossing a bridge. A laboratory where water is bacteriologically tested. A graph describing an exponential curve. Logarithmic equations on a paper. A graph on log paper. Logarithmic graphs allow for future predictions. More figures in tables. An engineer points to a map. Project work done at school, the maths teacher instructs students on data collecting . Another project group is working on probability by using playing cards. The maths teacher and his students travel in a white van. An insurance's claim office. The students visit the computer room, close up of various parts of the 70's computer. A lesson about biological inheritance which is also used to illustrate probability and combination. The biology teacher asks a group of students to go and examine the fur colour of rabbits in a cage. One of the students films the rabbits. An animation that describes frequency number and mathematical shapes in nature such as the shape of shells, pineapples, pine cones and flower heads. The number of flower petals also follows certain number sequence, flowers either have 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 or 55 petals. The leaves are also arranged in a spiral around the stem, 8 leaves in exactly 5 turns. The rectangle is found in some of Man's most beautiful creations like in ancient temples, modern buildings, in the art of old master paintings and in modern art (abstract) paintings. Students in an art class: maths is found in the balancing of mobiles and in the cutting of intrinsic shapes of colour. Geometrical shapes are drawn and cut out by art students. A kite is constructed. A student is filming the art class. An art teacher helps students make a kite. The students test fly the different shaped kites. An air craft factory (the British Aircraft Corporation), showing aeroplane models and an aeronautical engineer talking to the students. He shows the students the design of an aeroplane. He draws an aeroplane and some of the forces that affect its flight. The students ask questions about the forces. The aeronautical engineer writes formulae next to the aeroplane. Computerized aeronautical designing. More shots of the 70's computer, and of red punctured computer tape being fed into the computer. Close up of the calculations done by the computer. Close up of the computer screen displaying an aerodynamic shape. A scaled down model of an aeroplane. A mathematician explains optics to students, the blackboard behind him has optical equations. An animation describing a series of famous mathematical equations and relating them to everyday life situations. A band is recording an album. Views of sound recording equipment. The students listen to a talk in the recording studio (at EMI) about the mathematical basis of music. A monitor desplays sound waves. A record is manufactured in a factory. Sound engineers find the optimum level between loudness and playing time, records playing. The maths teacher is working with a group of students on the a optimizing problem. The importance of optimization is shown in a sreies of shots of: A Pan Am aircraft taking off , passengers going through a gate and into a KLM aeroplane. An aeroplane is being filled with fuel. A vegetable garden with plants placed optimumly apart. An 8mm film reel. The students and maths teacher are editing and adding sound to their film. A title background is also made. The maths teacher reads a mathematics book.

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