MATH IS IN THE AIR: MAKING OF A GIANT-SIZE CHESS SET
I have a strong belief ‘THERE IS NO MEANINGFUL SURVIVAL WITHOUT MATHEMATICS’. Every maths teachers, every mathematician, is doing, applying and taking help from a very important field of knowledge. If anyone disagrees with this argument, just recall today’s routine and consider when you didn’t use maths!
Every field, occupation, task and activity is incomplete without maths. To reinforce my point I’ll share my recent experience. Ali Institute of Education is arranging a chess tournament between school kids for the first time ever. It is planned that the finals will be played with giant size pieces on a huge chess board, 8 metres square, on the Ali Institute front lawn. The task was to make a huge chess piece to understand the mechanics of producing a stable and long-lasting chess piece. The problem solving process was started with observation. I looked at regular chess pieces with a mathematical eye. They are three-dimensional objects which needed to be converted into a two dimensional drawing, disintegrated into small segments; the measurements were taken for each part, a scale is used and a scaling factor was identified. Proportionality between the actual piece and the large-size piece was maintained by cutting and using circular disks. Contours were made through a series of sequential disks of various sizes. The amount of material and time required to complete the task was estimated. A table containing a list of material, the unit price and the cumulative prices were entered and a request was made to the purchase office.