This November, in a rather amazing feat of time travel and bilocation, George Boole will simultaneously appear in classrooms across Ireland and the world – or at least, his work and his legacy will. Over 400 classes around Ireland have already registered to deliver Boolean Logic lessons on George Boole Day, Monday, 2 November 2015. Schoolchildren around the world will have the opportunity to take part in fun and interactive lessons that are specially designed to introduce young thinkers and innovators to concepts pioneered by the mathematician.
The project, called Boole2School, is being led by UCC staff and is part of the George Boole 200 programme of outreach activities. Children in Ireland, China, India, Vietnam and North America will take part in the day, due to the work of UCC’s partner universities. Kathy Bunney, Project Support Officer for George Boole 200, explains that the lessons, which will be freely available online for teachers, have a historical as well as a mathematical aspect. Children will learn a little about Boole’s life and times, including the fact that he was self-taught; as Kathy notes, “It shows that if you put your head down and work hard enough, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.” Age-appropriate maths lessons, designed to suit children from 8 to 18, involve puzzles and activities that apply concepts from probability theory to Boolean algebra. Some are based on popular games, including Minecraft and Candy Crush. “It’s introducing a new type of maths into the classroom, and it’s slightly off-piste from their curriculum – the kids are not only learning mathematics, but logical thinking,” says Kathy. “A lot of the puzzles follow the game style of Cluedo: using detective work to eliminate people and figure out the one true solution. That type of logical thinking is something that will help them in many different subjects, not just mathematics.”
The Boole2School project will be launched in September 2015. Teachers can complete early registration online from: http://georgeboole.com/boole2school/reg/ where lessons and planning documents are available for download. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Boole2School to learn more and let us know what you are planning!