Tips on how to bring vectors to life Responding to a letter asking her how to ‘bring vectors alive’, ‘Mathagony Aunt’ Wendy Fortescue-Hubbard demonstrates some practical applications of vectors and visits Coombe Dean School in Plymouth to see her ideas put into practice with a higher tier Year 10 group.
Wendy first demonstrates a simple vector ‘displacement’ triangle, which pupils follow up, measuring and calculating the resultant vector. The pupils then investigate some of the vector notation, helped by an interactive website.
Wendy goes on to show how vectors can also represent velocities and forces. Pupils follow up this practical work in the classroom, with equipment borrowed from the science department and work on the vector triangles created.
Throughout the programme, Head of Maths Heather Reinecke, talks to Wendy about the importance of doing practical activities to really make sense of vectors.