WHAT IS A MATHS PARK?
Look at the picture gallery, below, for a rough idea of some existing maths parks elsewhere in the world. What we are planning, however, will be a lot more sophisticated and a great deal more elaborate. Learners, in our uniquely well-resourced Maths Park, will have eight fantastic opportunities, over a month, to receive tactile and visual stimulation. The intuitive understanding and spontaneous insights they gain there will shine a clear light on what was confusing and difficult to comprehend earlier. After 30 minutes in the park learns will go into the modern maths-lab we are planning for another half hour for cognitive consolidation to occur. Memory will be assisted by connecting key ideas with easy to remember structures, models and apparatus. The following will also help you visualise what we are proposing.
USING MATHS PRACTICALLY TO LEARN MATHS SUCCESSFULLY
Doing and experimenting will help to promote cognitive development and conceptualization. For that reason our focus will be on providing many conceptually directed learning activities in the Maths Park. Consequently, both “declarative memory” (relating to facts) which is in one part of the brain, as well as “episodic memory” (relating to context and occasion) which is in another part, will become strengthened. As episodes are easier to visualize and recall than bare facts, the one kind of memory will help the other kind. This is how a win-win situation will be achieved.
We also know that learning is facilitated by beginning with what is concrete and tactile. Once a solid platform is laid, learners can engage with the abstract.
When learners achieve clarity and understanding confidence will be boosted and positive motivation will prevail.
From our daily experience we know that using a computer comes early in the life of a child. This early interest, if it is substantial, will carry over in later years to the actual building of computers or to developing new applications for them.
Our approach will make maths learning quicker, smarter and more permanent. This is promising a lot and we are doing so advisedly.
MATHEMATICS AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES GO TOGETHER
Mathematics has considerable application in science, engineering, medicine, communication, construction, navigation, aviation, technology, economics, design, graphics, analysis and even sports. In the age in which we live there is an increasing demand for mathematics. Every learner, therefore, must seek to do very well at mathematics.
THE AGE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & ROBOTICS WILL REQUIRE EVEN MORE MATHEMATICS THAN AT PRESENT
Computerization and artificial intelligence will have advanced to such an extent within a decade that mathematics will be a primary requirement for most decent jobs.
The demand for mathematics will increase exponentially in the years to come. We recognize this and hope to contribute toward that end.
"DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION" IS NEEDED
Customary teaching of mathematics will produce customary shortfalls and heartaches for the majority of learners. Only “disruptive innovation”, the big buzz word of today, will get learners ahead of the curve. That is just what we are planning to do.
ENHANCING MEMORY IS SUPERIOR TO DEMANDING MEMORIZATION
Here's what Brett Berry, ❤ Lover of all things Math ❤, said about learning to “Complete the Square” by relying on memorization rather than understanding:
“I remember learning how to ‘complete the square’ as a teenager and I did what most students do, I memorized the steps. I was pretty good at memorization, so I got by.
I understood that completing the square was a method for solving a quadratic, but it wasn’t until years later that I realized I hadn’t really understood what I was doing at all. I was just going through the motions.
And that’s the way it often is, isn’t it? Our teacher scribbles a series of steps and formulas on the whiteboard and we do our best to replicate it.
But is memorization and regurgitation really what math is about?
Instead of developing understanding that we can carry with us for years, we memorize steps that we’ll forget next week. I believe there is always a better way of seeing math that will help you understand what the gibberish is all about”.
YOU GET WHERE WE WANT TO GO?
Mathematics is the key to success in a world where technology rules. Our Maths Park will shine a light in the mind and make mathematics comprehensible and much less daunting than it is at present. All that is needed now is modest parental support to make the Maths Park a reality.
REGISTERED NON PROFIT COMPANY
Maths in the Park was registered with CIPC (Companies & Intellectual Property Commission, RSA) as a non-profit company on 24 May 2017. The Enterprise Number is: 2017/226740/08.
We have identified land in Milnerton, belonging to the City of Cape Town, for establishing the Maths Park. See correspondence below for price of land, my involvement as a sitting councillor in the project, and the steps that will need to be taken to buy the land from the City.
1. THE APPROXIMATE PRICE OF THE LAND
23 May 2017
Good Afternoon Andre
I refer to your request to estimate the market value for the possible lease/purchase of Erf 105143 Cape Town to be utilized for a Math’s Park and advise as follows:
The property details are as follows:
Erf no: 105143 Cape Town
Location: Off Corsair Road Sanddrift
Extent: ±3 180m²
Zoning: Open Space 2
Comment: Based on size, configuration and location a total of 9 residential opportunities are capable of being developed on the property.
Based on market research and sales data, it is considered that the “desktop” estimated value of the property, with rights in place, would be in the region of R1 900 000 (±R600/m²), based on this amount a fair rental would be in the order of R14 250 per month exclusive of VAT.
Professional Associated Valuer
Assets and Facilities Management
13th Floor, Civic Centre
12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town
2. MY INVOLVEMENT IN THE "MATHS IN THE PARK" PROJECT AS A SITTING COUNCILLOR
15 June 2017
It is confirmed that:
1. You would need to declare your involvement in your Declaration of Interest form.
2. You must withdraw yourself from any meeting where this matter appears on the agenda (withdraw from the meeting when the item is discussed if this appears on an agenda in any committee of council on which you serve, or in Council meetings)
3. You (Maths in the Park) may enter into negotiations to lease property from council but cannot purchase property.
If you are unclear about any of the above, please feel free to contact the Speaker’s Legal Advisor, Mr Herman van Zyl on 021 400 3555 who will be able to explain in more detail and to quote the relevant legislation.
Office of the Speaker
3. PURCHASING THE LAND
19 June 2017
From Andre Human
It would appear from your e-mail dated 19 June 2017, that you refer to a maths centre which includes various buildings and structures of a permanent nature and which would be run as a business venture. Erf 105143 at 22 Corsair Road, Milnerton, is zoned Public Open Space, and your Maths in the Park concept is not permissible on this property. The property will have to be rezoned to accommodate such activities.
Furthermore, in terms of the applicable legislation the City is obliged to dispose (sale/ lease) of its immovable property by means of a competitive process. Should Council approve the disposal of Erf 105143, Milnerton, the property will have to be disposed by means of a tender/ auction process.
At present it is wholly premature and totally undesirable to raise any funds or accept any fees. The right approach, for now, is to create widespread awareness of the project.
However, it is appropriate to start developing a list of parents who would like to secure admission for their children when the gates finally open. This list will determine the order of learner intake. Those who are first on the list will get the first bite of the cherry. The others will follow in listed sequence. Parents who sign up for a future date because their children are still young will keep their precedence for a future date. They will also lock into the opening fee offer of R1000 for eight one hour sessions spread over a period of one month.
Interested parents whose names are on the list will be requested to make a first payment of R250 when negotiations for the purchase of the land reach an advanced state. The next payment of R250 will become due when it is time to take transfer of the land. Two further instalments become payable when the foundation is laid and the building rises to window level.
Failure to pay will result in exclusion from the list.
Demand will certainly outstrip availability. Once the Maths Park is up and running the pressure for admission will be unrelenting.
For now there is no payment of any kind to be made. When the time for payment arises it will run concurrently with important developments. There will therefore be no risk.
If 3750 parents express enthusiastic support and put their names on the list, the backing will be there for this project to go forward.
Why 3750? Each course of eight sessions will run for one month and the Maths Park will only be able to accommodate 375 learners. In the course of a year, 3750 learners will be catered for.
5. THE STRUCTURING OF THE FOUR WEEK’S COURSE
Each month, a batch of 375 learners in grade 10, as per the order in which they appear on the list, will be taken through the course.
Learners will be divided into three classes. Each class group will comprise 25 learners to enhance personal attention. Learners will have to come for one weekday after school session and one Saturday session.
6. THE TIMETABLING
On weekdays, classes will be staggered as follows:
16H00 - 17H00; (first class)
16H30 - 17H30; (second class) and
17H00 - 18H00; (third class).
The Saturday sessions will be staggered as follows:
8H30 - 9H30, 9H00 - 10H00, 9.30 - 10H30.
11H00 - 12H00, 11H30 - 12H30, 12H00 13H30
7. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We will certainly and most definitely reach out to children whose parents are financially constrained. We will do so through a variety of supportive programmes. We fully recognise that learners in our townships must be significant beneficiaries of this legacy project.
8. DAY VISITS
Schools can, by arrangement, bring learners for a day visit. Payment will be waived for children who cannot afford the fee. A maximum of 50 learners, divided into two groups, will be accepted.
9. PROJECTED OPENING DATE
All things being equal, January 2019 could be the month when the gates open for the first time.
10. INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES
As a non-profit company there will be neither profit nor dividends for anyone to share. Parental involvement will have to be on a voluntary basis. Parents who are architects, auditors, engineers, mathematicians, journalists, IT specialists and other professionals whose skills can help this project see the light of day are hereby invited to lend an eager hand.
11. MY FAMILY’S DOMINANT ROLE IN THE VENTURE
My family’s dominant role at this stage is easy to explain. The intellectual property is mine and in a way that of my family. We are keen, as a family, to use this precious knowledge for the benefit of the children of the city and, in due course, of the nation. We could have chosen to commercialise this knowledge and make a killing out of it. However, we are pursuing the egalitarian non-profit route.
Farouk Cassim - 21 June 2017
A school leaving certificate with high marks in mathematics and a solid understanding of its workings will open unlimited career opportunities. It is common cause that an investment in mathematics will yield lifelong economic and other benefits to the learner and to the country.
Reserve a space for your child in our proposed maths course at Maths in the Park without delay. There is nothing to pay for now and no risks to be concerned about. Remember that it is the early bird which catches the worm. As and when real progress is made, small instalments will be requested to coincide with tangible and material developments. You will pay for what you can see with your own eyes.
While our target group will be learners in Grade 10 in 2019, parents can act proactively and book ahead to enjoy priority listing and locked in price benefits in the outer years.
Don't miss out.
If the support from parents does not materialize, the project will not go forward and your children will be the big losers. The ball is in your court. We need to list 3750 learners for the green light to be turned on.
Let us join hands, the more the merrier, and ensure that Maths in the Park is developed quickly and fully.
Sign up to come on board. Our collective effort is needed to develop Maths in the Park and the Maths Laboratories that go with it. Together we will add a new dimension to the learning of mathematics and help to change the destiny of thousands by making mathematics accessible to a wider range of learners.
Our primary objective is to use an innovative and visual approach to shorten the time of learning mathematics and to improve the conceptualization of what is being learnt. If we were to play on words, we are aiming to make the learning of maths a figurative "walk in the park".
The time has arrived to go from the drawing board to the establishment of the Maths Park. Your involvement as a parent is needed to get the project underway as expeditiously as possible .
Farouk Cassim and Rabiya Cassim are inviting testimonials from former students and fellow educators.
Register your interest right away in order not to lose out. There is no time to lose. This is indeed a once in a lifetime opportunity for learners to encounter mathematics in a new, memorable and enjoyable way.
Our Maths Park, in all probability, will be the first of its kind in South Africa.
We have seen what has been done elsewhere and our aim is to lift the bar by a considerable margin. We plan to make Maths in the Park unique.
Q: What is a maths park?
A: A maths park is an outdoor facility providing specially designed structures, models, and equipment to help students understand mathematics visually, instantaneously and conceptually. By activating two different parts of the brain at the same time, that which responds to spatial and visual stimuli on the one hand and that which is involved in dealing with symbols on the other, learning of mathematics will be both facilitated and optimised
Q: Are there any maths parks elsewhere?
A: Yes. Not as advanced and elaborate as we are intending to build; but they do exist. Follow the leads below:
Q: Is Maths in the Park up and running?
A: At present it is only the paper work which is in place. A piece of municipal owned land in Milnerton, Cape Town, has been identified and negotiations with the City have begun.
Q: What is the company’s objective as listed in the Memorandum of Association lodged with CIPC?
A: To establish a Maths Park and lecture facility to help students, fee paying or variously assisted, to visit the park per arrangement at set times and for a given duration (normally 90 minutes per session and ten sessions over five weeks) to experience mathematics through physical activities or engagement with and manipulation of numerous large models with the objective being to optimally concretize the principle / s and abstract complexities underlying a mathematical concept and thereafter to round off the visit with tutorial time in a lecture theatre to fortify, through a question and answer session, the understanding and clarity newly gained.
Q: How will the directors and alternate directors operate as disclosed to the CIPC in the application form?
In terms of the Companies Act (71 of 2008), as and when the occasion requires, a fit and proper person who is passionate about the objectives of the company will be appointed to act, in the stead of a director who for one or other reason has to be absent for a prolonged period and such an alternate director will help to ensure compliance with the requirement for a quorum and discharge all of the normal and fiduciary duties of the absent director with reasonable care and skill. The alternate director will cease to hold such office when the main director returns and is ready to resume duty. Alternatively, if a situation arises where, the main directors, on good cause, deem it necessary to terminate the appointment of an alternate director, they may do so through the adoption of a resolution to that end.
Q: Who are the Directors and Alternate Directors?
A: DIRECTORS: Mahomed Farouk Cassim; Rabiya Cassim and Imtiaz Cassim,
ALTERNATE DIRECTORS: Sayd Mahomed; Nontsikelelo Montsikelelo and Mniki Lindokuhle. Interested parents who can spare time and money can request to be considered as directors or alternate directors in our non-profit company.
Q: What is the plan for fund raising?
A: This is being deferred for now. Our fund raising will begin in earnest when tangible, material and visible progress begins to be made.
Q: Will the Maths Park operate exclusively for the benefit of those who are already privileged and able to pay?
A: Certainly and definitely not. While children from privileged homes will pay the fees required to cover the setting up costs and the annual budgets that will follow, learners from disadvantaged communities will be accommodated by arrangement through one of various supportive and beneficial schemes. Maths in the Park will certainly reach out to as many learners as possible from disadvantaged communities as part of its strong social responsibility programme.
Q: Why is the learning of maths so crucial now and in the foreseeable future?
A: Mathematics will be a key requirement for the jobs of the coming decade and beyond.
Q: What is the difference between maths in the class and maths in the park?
A: The fear of maths is the fear that has to be comprehensively conquered. We aim to defeat that fear. Once concepts are clearly and firmly grasped through activities in the Maths Park, learning mathematics will become less daunting and a great deal more enjoyable.
Q: What will be the size of each group or class?
A: Each group will comprise 25 learners so that each learner can get individual attention. Exam type test groups, however, will be much bigger. These will be arranged at the completion of the course.
Q: What role can parents play in making the Maths Park a reality?
A: They can establish a Parents Support Group and become as fully involved as they wish in the building project. We need their support and the more extensive it is, the better.
Q: Will there be room for professionals to volunteer their services?
A: We eagerly look forward to auditors, architects, engineers, mathematicians and others supporting this project. By working together we will improve the situation for our children and other children in our city and in our country.
Q: What about other questions?
A: Ask them and they will be answered here or on our Facebook page: @mathsinthepark