About Maths Craft New Zealand
Maths Craft aims to bring maths to the masses by celebrating the links between mathematics and craft.
Maths Craft New Zealand is a non-profit initiative founded in 2016 and run by mathematicians Dr Jeanette McLeod and Dr Phil Wilson together with the rest of the Maths Craft Team. We are passionate about engaging the public with mathematics through craft. Our aim is to show young and old alike the fun, creativity, and beauty in mathematics through the medium of craft, and to demonstrate just how much mathematics there is in craft.
Maths Craft events provide a welcoming and non-threatening environment where people can engage with the mathematics in craft and the craft in mathematics. Everyone is welcome - experts and amateurs, maths-fans and maths-phobes, the crafty and the curious. Participants are encouraged by our volunteers to have a go at a craft at one of our numerous craft stations, or listen to a public talk about an aspect of maths and crafts, and experience mathematics in a whole new way. Maths Craft has created instructional handouts for a wide range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities, including making a Möbius strip, crocheting a hyperbolic plane, and folding an origami octahedron, exploring topics such as geometry, topology, combinatorics, and more.
Following the success of the inaugural 2016 Maths Craft Festival at the Auckland Museum, which attracted almost 2,000 people, Maths Craft were inundated with requests to go on the road with our quirky brand of maths outreach. The result was a nationwide series of events supported by a National Unlocking Curious Minds grant. Over the following year, Maths Craft participated in a number of science festivals and workshops around New Zealand, as well as running a series of our own Maths Craft events. Our flagship Maths Craft Festival at the Auckland Museum in 2017 filled the Museum’s largest exhibition space and attracted more than 3,400 people over a weekend, while our smaller day-long events in Christchurch and Dunedin attracted around 1,800 and 1,000 people, respectively. Since our inception, Maths Craft has reached over 8,000 people across New Zealand through our events, and we are continuing to grow in popularity. We have written over 30 instructional handouts on the mathematics of a range of crafts, which are the cornerstone of our events. All of these handouts are available on our website.
In 2018, in response to requests from maths teachers around New Zealand, Maths Craft offered a two-day workshop for intermediate teachers, dedicated to bringing Maths Craft to maths class. Our focus was on developing mathematical thinking and self-efficacy in mathematics, and learning techniques for engaging students in the classroom. Participants left the workshop with a portfolio of Maths Craft lesson plans which tie into the New Zealand curriculum, instructional handouts written by mathematicians, and craft material for their own classes.
In addition to this, Maths Craft was delighted to bring back the Christchurch Maths Craft Day in 2018 after the success of the 2017 event.
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