Friday, 4 September 2015

The Migrant crisis and Maths

I am sure many of us have been following the growing migrant crisis affecting, in particular, the Mediterranean region. The number of deaths during travel, coupled with the logistical problems of settling the migrants once they have left their country of origin are two of the biggest migration issues faced by Europe for a long time. A colleague of mine recently sent me a link to a BBC news article about the issue containing some truly thought-provoking statistics; and of course I couldn't read the article without that little maths teacher area of my brain firing with uses for the graphs and charts shown. Here are some of the statistical representations that the article used to report on the issue:

The mathematical possibilities here are quite striking. There are some great representations of proportion and percentage, probability, circles etc in addition to the obvious bar charts and pie charts problems that can be posed.

So taken was I that I immediately came home this evening and created 3 worksheets/questions that can used with these stimuli; one on bar charts, on on pie charts and one on proportion. They are just a flavour of the sort of questions that can be asked about these stimuli, but are useful enough for themselves. The worksheets can be found here and I would love to see other people develop questions from these or other representations around this very important issue.

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