The AIMS Teacher Training Program (TTP) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and the Government of Cameroon endeavours, as one of its strategic goals, to change the awareness and perception of mathematics in order to attract more students – especially girls – towards mathematics and STEM, and to assist them in becoming independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling Cameroon’s and Africa’s future scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency.
As part of the training that TTP Cameroon provides, trained teachers are encouraged to implement outreach and public engagement events designed to demystify mathematics and show that math is integrated into all aspects of society and all economic activities. The mathematics teachers trained by TTP Cameroon were able to organize events to celebrate International Day of Mathematics. March 14 was proclaimed the International Day of Mathematics (IDM) by UNESCO in November 2019, and the inaugural celebration of the IDM was on March 14, 2020. Fittingly, March 14 is also PI Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday. The theme of the inaugural celebration is “Mathematics is everywhere”, and UNESCO invites everyone to participate through activities for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces.The theme for the International Day for Mathematics for 2020 was Mathematics is Everywhere. To celebrate IDM, TTP Staff teachers and several Master Trainers promoted the importance of mathematics on radio and television, and encouraged teachers, students – and everyone – to celebrate math in some way. Teachers throughout the country were able to organize events to showcase the role and impact of Mathematics in everyday life, and some of their celebrations.
Through the construction of solids, some teachers were able to pique their students’ brains by encouraging them to fabricate solid figures from card board papers. This exercise, helped the students understand the various figures better, their utility, and how the figures help in Mathematics studies. Some fabricated figures included: figures cuboids, prisms (square prism, hexagonal prism) ,pyramids tetrahedrons, hexagonal pyramids, cones, cylinders, flexi-cube, flexi-polyhedron etc.
Apart from the fabrication of solids which was the most common activity, during the first edition of the International Dayof Mathematics, Olympiads came a close second with many schools across the country, testing the knowledge of their students. These Olympiads saw a number of students from different schools, sit together to compete n who is most knowledgeabel in this subject. Prizes, were later awarded to the best candidates.
Some TTP-trained teachers decided that the best way to celebrate IDM would be with the sharing of information. The teachers encouraged their students to do presentations on important mathematical topics, such as the importance of Pi, Utility of Math, Importance of Math and historical facts about mathematics. The goal was to show how and why students themselves should value math and see its applications in development and to see how it can be used to resolve many of theproblems facing young people today.
Through song, drama, dances, and Poetry, students potrayed the indispensable nature of Math and its ubiquitousness.
With over 400 students participating in activities, in 25 schools, across 7 Regions (West, South West, Extreme North, Littoral, Centre, Adamawa, South), AIMS-TTP-trained teachers and staff in Cameroon, considered the first edition of the International Day of Mathematics a success.