Using time as a theme, in this project we explored the mathematical concepts of irrational numbers and complex/imaginary numbers. As we followed the process of mathematicians before us by expanding the number system, we decided the best use of our knowledge was to artfully show our learning through clocks. The clocks had to express their values either through all irrational numbers that were rationalized to make the numbers 1-12 or with imaginary numbers that were made real through the use of exponents.
Math is a beautiful art form and in this project students were given the opportunity to see it as such. They took pride in coming up with the most complicated version of the numbers 1-12 that they could and then creating a theme for their clock that went with either their view of irrational or imaginary things. I loved this project because it was beautifully differentiated for the students (as they were in charge of making the numbers as simple or complex as they wanted) and because it valued the beauty of complex numbers just as they are, without the need to always find them “in the real world.” The students were very proud of their clocks at the end and I was proud of them as well!
One thing that stood out to me was that this project made math fun! It made me push myself to make intricate equations and I exceeded my own expectations.
I liked this project because it gave me the opportunity to use my creativity in math class! I had to make the equations as complicated as I could and then just make them equal to one.
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