Using magic to teach key items in science
Science is intrinsically fun for science-oriented, science-minded students. However, for most people Science has two main issues: its language (mathematics) and abstract or complex items, like entropy résumé or DNA bases. Our team is gathering a collection of short magic games to better teach those concepts and make Science more attractive and understandable. For instance, we use playing cards to explain the basics of quantum mechanics (Schröndinger’s Card). We use the four card suits and their red/ black characteristic to deal with DNA pair bonding. Another example concerns entropy, both as a physicochemical concept, and an information theory item. This communication pinpoints several examples of the use of conjuring techniques to foster Science learning and making it relevant and attractive enough for students. These games can be related to current mid- and hight school curricula; they are also used in the MOOC “Magic, Science and Confessable Secrets” which is currently under development.
Mathematical magic as a motivational tool
Attracting students into STEM disciplines is a necessary task. Of course demonstrations in physics or chemistry produce interaction and with people and engage them with science. Mathematics, despite its résumé inner beauty, is far away from the main public but mathematical magic performances as the main skeleton of recreational mathematics activities has been proved useful.
In this talk we discuss and introduce mathematical ideas by means of magic tricks, all of them with a mathematical background. In that sense we will deal with binary numbers, bipartition method, divisibility, logical decisions, probability, geometrical dissections and topology. So, abstract concepts are brought to general public in a more attractive way.
There are deep mathematics in card shuffling and cards have been used to model different concepts. Using red/black properties it is easy dealing with even/odd numbers. Moreover, the position where a card arrives when a ‘perfect’ shuffle is made is related to binary numbers. Cards are also good for introducing coding systems.
Finally, the movement on the stage and magician’s presentation techniques are also good for communicating science and getting people attracted to these fields of knowledge.
Science & You va ser una excel.lent trobada on vam assistir en Josep Duran, en Pep Anton Vieta, en Fernando Blasco, i jo mateix, i on vam poder fer molts bons contactes, conèixer iniciatives interessants i sobretot aprendre. És clar… i també vam fer el taller de La Màgia de la Taula Periòdica i el de la Matemàgia de la Ciència. I algun experiment. Ah! i dues actuacions de La Màgia de la Taula Periòdica, davant d’un total de 500 assistents.
Les fotos de @sciyou2015 que vaig fer són a https://flic.kr/s/aHskdFGQ5U. N’hi ha moltes, que encara he de seleccionar!