By Kieran O’Mahony
IF only maths class was this much fun for everyone!
For the Transition Year students at Sacred Heart Secondary School in Clonakilty, studying maths got them out of the classroom and onto the glorious Inchydoney Beach to undertake a module on sand circles in a fun and innovative way last week.
On Thursday, from 11am to 3pm, the students used string and sticks as giant compasses, rakes as their brushes, and the stunning beach at Inchydoney as their canvas.
And with the aid of a drone piloted by Cathal O’Sullivan, a brother of one of the students, they captured some stunning overhead shots of the completed sand circles.
‘The results were spectacular and drew much attention from locals and tourists alike who were on the beach at the time,’ said maths teacher Colm Kiely. ‘The work looked even better from the aerial view, thanks to the use of the drone. We were also blessed with the fine weather to allow them make the circles.’
‘As circles, constructions and geometry are key elements of the maths syllabus, so this was an innovative and fun way to explore maths in a real life context,’ he explained.
The students planned their designs using the computer design software, Google Sketchup, and the patterns created were all based upon circles with different shapes or variants.
‘A circle which has a regular polygon with vertices on its circumference is called a circumcircle. Radiating from the centre of a circumcircle, a pentagon has a vertex every 72 degrees, a hexagon every 60 degrees and an octagon every 45 degrees,’ added Colm.
Colm said a special thanks had to go to their teachers Ms Hennessy, Ms Shanahan, Mr Hanley and Ber Downey and Siofra O’Shea, both SNAs, for their help.
‘We must also give a big thank you to all the Transition Year students who took part in this project from idea, through to planning, and to the final creation.’