Children at Ogden Community School learned the value of math through magic tricks Thursday.
Edward Doolittle, a mathematician from First Nations University in Regina, spoke to students in Grades 3 to 6 Thursday afternoon about the importance of math, but showed them through some card tricks.
“There’s all kinds of things we can do to make math much more interesting. It has a reputation of being a dry subject and that’s not really fair,” Doolittle said.
“Maybe an old school way of doing mathematics is dry and boring but there are so many ways to make it more interesting.”
Doolittle is from the Mohawk Six Nations in southern Ontario and said there aren’t many Aboriginal mathematicians in Canada, but he’s hoping to change that.
One way is to speak to young students about the types of careers they can pursue with a strong math background like engineering, science and education.
“We’re really short of people in those career paths. There are many Aboriginal people who could have fulfilling careers in those areas,” Doolittle said.
“There is a lot of opportunity for people who would be interested in engineering, maybe could work in mining or other industries. There’s so many opportunities and I think we need to open up those opportunities, for Aboriginal students especially.”
Doolittle also spoke to students about how he became interested in mathematics and how it helped his career.
Doolittle has a Ph.D in pure math from the University of Toronto and has taught at U of T, York University, Queen’s University and the University of Regina.
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