A Low Floor + High Ceiling 153

Megumi Harada ( McMaster ) investigated the geometry of a sphere ; Brett Stevens ( Carleton ) pondered Latin squares and Sudoku ; Peter Taylor ( Queen ’ s ) contemplated telescopes and parabolas ; and Linda Wahl ( Western ) explored growth patterns in biology . The goal of the project was to provide students , parents , and teachers with insights into mathematics and into the thinking of mathematicians .

The more recent technology trend is getting kids to learn to code : computational thinking . Historically , especially through Papert ’ s work and conceptually regarding the importance of abstract thinking , there are strong links between coding and math education . Again , as Papert stated , “ My basic idea is that programming is the most powerful medium of developing the sophisticated and rigorous thinking needed for mathematics , for grammar , for physics , for statistics , for all the ‘ hard ’ subjects ... In short , I believe more than ever that programming should be a key part of the intellectual development of people growing up .”

Part of our contribution is to learn from past Logo research , such as the work two other Fields Symposium speakers , Celia Hoyles and Richard Noss from the University of London in the U . K . We want to focus not only on technology itself , but also on rich math ideas — that offer conceptual surprise and insight — as well as pedagogical practices that afford students opportunities to engage as young mathematicians . Personally , I spend 50 to 60 days each year in elementary school classrooms , collaborating with teachers to design cool ways of engaging young children with big math ideas and using computers and coding to support their thinking and their what-if investigations . Although I have a computer science background and love programming , my work in schools puts mathematics first , with coding as a tool to enhance mathematical exploration and conceptual development . Fields has also funded several outreach activities , supporting

A Low Floor + High Ceiling
153
Megumi Harada (McMaster) investigated the geometry of
a sphere; Brett Stevens (Carleton) pondered Latin squares
and Sudoku; Peter Taylor (Queen’s) contemplated telescopes
and parabolas; and Linda Wahl (Western) explored growth
patterns in biology. The goal of the project was to provide
students, parents, and teachers with insights into mathematics
and into the thinking of mathematicians.
The more recent technology trend is getting kids to learn to
code: computational thinking. Historically, especially through
Papert’s work and conceptually regarding the importance
of abstract thinking, there are strong links between coding
and math education. Again, as Papert stated, “My basic
idea is that programming is the most powerful medium of
developing the sophisticated and rigorous thinking needed for
mathematics, for grammar, for physics, for statistics, for all
the ‘hard’ subjects ... In short, I believe more than ever
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