Scottish Museums Day 2023
For Scottish Museums Day (3 October) we’ve rounded up some of our favourite activities from museums from this year's Maths Week Scotland. Maths isn’t just for Maths Week though - many museums are continuing to run workshops or make their resources available throughout the year.
Maths in Motion Fun at the National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland got very much in to the spirit of Maths Week Scotland this year, with family activities for all ages on offer in Edinburgh.
They started off the week with their free Counting Sheep trail. Families had to go in search of five Dolly cones, hidden in the galleries, and each clone had a maths question or challenge to try. The trail was available all week.
On Wednesday, families with children aged 2-4 were invited to join two 'Magic Carpet' sessions, where little ones could discover shapes, numbers, time and more through songs, action rhymes, objects and sensory play. The popular sessions were both fully booked. The museum runs regular Magic Carpet sessions throughout the year, and had put on some extra maths themed ones especially for Maths Week Scotland.
On Friday afternoon, the 'Find out Fridays' sessions that taken place at the museum regularly during term time, had again been given a Maths Week Scotland twist with a Maths in Motion special.
Over the weekend, the museum hosted a free pop-up exhibition from the Open University, with the theme of 'Pendulums and Patterns'. Visitors could get hands on with a number of maths inspired puzzles and activities, to explore the relationship between mathematics, movements and patterns.
The maths filled week was rounded off by Sensory Sunday, the first of a series of new sensory play sessions at the museum for children with additional support needs. In honour of Maths Week Scotland, the inaugural session was maths themed.
As well as the family activities, the museum's learning and engagement team was also piloting some new maths themed 'Museum on the Move' workshops with local schools. Going forward, they hope to include these in their regular schools offering as well as sharing the format with other museums.
Cracking the Code at the Great Tapestry of Scotland
We were delighted to welcome Maths Week Scotland first timers The Great Tapestry of Scotland, in the Scottish Borders, on board this year. Throughout the week, visitors to the Great Tapestry could use their maths skills to crack the code using clues hidden in the panels, in a number of trails available for different ages, from P1 through to adults!
The Tapestry also worked with pupils at Jedburgh Grammar Campus, to learn about James Clerk Maxwell, who features in panel 99 of the tapestry.
As part of @mathsweekscot we've been working with the pupils at @JedburghGrammar to learn about James Clerk Maxwell, who features in panel 99 of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. pic.twitter.com/4MGLmGINO7— The Great Tapestry of Scotland (@GreatTapestrySc) September 27, 2023
And a drop-in by the Galashiels CLD Service Multiply Team at the Great Tapestry, gave people of all ages a chance to pick up information about all numeracy provision available - along with a wee maths goodie bag!
Join Katy from @scotborders Galashiels CLD Service Multiply Team at The Great Tapestry Of Scotland today, for @mathsweekscot!— The Great Tapestry of Scotland (@GreatTapestrySc) September 26, 2023
Katy will provide you with lots of information about all numeracy provision available and you may even get a Maths goodie bag! pic.twitter.com/MfOlvufe1J
Stepping Back in Time with Auchindrain Maths
In Argyll & Bute, Auchindrain Township Museum - the last remaining township in Scotland - had some fun maths inspired activities on offer for visitors all week, included in admission, which related to their historic buildings and the people who used to live there. Museum worker Thomas also helped us see maths in a new light by explaining the maths behind turfing a roof.
Getting Creative in the North of Scotland
All the way north in Stromness, Orkney, The Pier Arts Centre created a series of maths related activities, inspired by their collections, which are available to download from their website to do at home.
This week we are celebrating Maths Week Scotland with our #WednesdayWorkoftheWeek Dream Baby Dream, 2011 by Jim Lambie— The Pier Arts Centre (@PierArtsCentre) September 27, 2023
Head to our website to find some maths related activities including one focusing on this artwork https://t.co/oKrbvlJxhD#PierArtsCentre #MathsWeekScot pic.twitter.com/7wg4SkbThj
They also had Orkney’s UHI STEM Coordinator running a 'Creation Station' on Wednesday and Thursdays, where visitors could create their own sculptures, pictures and models with wooden KAPLA blocks.
Counting, measuring, shapes: using the @Kapla blocks in #UHISTEM's Lend-a-Lab to explore maths through creativity. STEM Coordinator, Ria, and @PierArtsCentre ran a Creation Station workshop for children in Kirkwall. Maths and art in perfect harmony!#MathsWeekScotland #UHIOrkney pic.twitter.com/vGud2aLOR6— UHI STEM (@UHISTEM) October 2, 2023
Something Fishy going on in Anstruther
The Scottish Fisheries Museum had revised their Kipper the Cat's Maths Trail, which is now available in two versions following feedback from families last year. A version for families was available all through Maths Week, and included in the price of museum admission. Another version for schools will now be available all year round, and can be booked as part of school visits, which have a small cost per pupil.
It's #MathsWeekScot! We have updated our Kipper the Cat Maths Trail so pop in and join Kipper as he embarks on his first fishing trip and learn about the different ways fishermen use maths - pick up a copy from the front desk 😸 #MathsInMuseums pic.twitter.com/xAvbCAC3QP— The Scottish Fisheries Museum (@scotfishmuseum) September 25, 2023
Discovering the Forces of Golf in St Andrews
Back to Maths Week Scotland for another year, the World Golf Museum in St Andrews invited families to a fun Sunday morning session to discover the forces used in golf and have a go at measuring the volume of golf clubs and golf balls with the Archimedes Principle.
We're all set to do some measuring and testing of objects, inspired by the Archimedes test, which our @RandA colleagues run on clubheads. We're also testing the speed of a golf ball down a slope. #mathsweekscotland #mathsinmotion #showyourworking #kidsinmuseums #golf pic.twitter.com/NBua1wPItY— R&A World Golf Museum (@WorldGolfMuseum) October 1, 2023
Money Maths Brain Teasers
And, finally, the Museum on the Mound in Edinburgh, offer money maths workshops for schools and Scout groups year round, including in Maths Week. St Cuthbert's RC Primary School really enjoyed their visit.
P4 had a fabulous day at the Money Museum on the Mound. We learned about the history of money 💴 and we created our very own replicas using a hammer! What a great start to @mathsweekscot for us! pic.twitter.com/mlDEBCnUBi— StCuthbert'sRCPri (@StCuthbertsRCP) September 25, 2023
They also kept us on our toes all week with a series of brain teasers from their collections. Here's a wee taster:
Fancy a little brain teaser for #mathsweekscotland? Have a try at this tricky question from our Museum Maths Trail. How fast can our night watchman get back to his chair?— Museum on the Mound (@museumonmound) September 26, 2023
(Remember, no running in the Museum 😉) pic.twitter.com/8NIcRmOOD2
There was lots of other Maths Week museum activity happening behind the scenes too. The Scottish Maritime Museum in North Ayrshire hosted a series of Nautical Numbers workshops for local Early Years groups and schools, as well as a big family activity day at Egliton Country Park. The North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre also held a family day, all about maps. Meanwhile for schools, Surgeons' Hall Museums in Edinburgh was running Forensic Science workshops, and the National Galleries of Scotland had produced a new art learning resource on the theme of Maths in Motion. Glasgow Museums Resource Centre and The Burrell Collection in Glasgow also offer maths inspired schools workshops all year round, whilst there are more maths trails available of schools at the National Museum of Scotland and Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life.
Check out your local museum for maths events all year round. If you are a museum looking to take part and want to know what support is available, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Events1st Jan-31st Dec
Summerlee Museum School Maths Trail
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge 10.00am-4.00pm Free
Summerlee Museum has two self-led math trails for primary school pupils which you can download and use for FREE!