Doing the Math

Singaporean students are famously good at Maths, and few would argue with this fact. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has reported that Singaporean students have clinched the top spots in Maths and Science globally in 2019, beating their peers from Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Even celebrity Hilary Duff uses Singapore Maths textbooks to coach her son.

A Nation of Maths Whizzes

What makes Singapore’s Maths education so strong? It really is a combination of several factors. In Singapore, teachers are trained to provide students with top-quality education and to help students develop to reach their full potential. On top of that, a robust education system that supports innovative learning, such as STEM learning, also contributes to the overall stellar performance of Singaporean students.

Another reason could also be the competitive nature of Singaporean society, which encourages many students to excel not just in Maths, but in other subjects as well. Their mastery of Maths comes from diligence and determination. And help is around every corner. In Singapore, many students attend tuition or consult assessment books to hone their academic subjects. Aside from seeking help from their teachers and peers, there is also the option of getting help online. There is a plethora of online resources dedicated to helping students improve their Maths. All these factors create an environment that nurtures a nation of Maths whizzes.

The Fun in Numbers

But Maths may not be fun for everyone. Some students may find it tiresome or confusing, especially when they start to delve into more complex topics like differentiation and integration. To help them, parents can integrate fun and play into learning, so that solving Maths problems would not seem as daunting. Parents can encourage their child to learn through unconventional means, such as through using drawings and even building blocks. Another way would be to show how Maths can be applied in real-life scenarios, so that their child can develop a deeper appreciation of the subject.

There are also many fun facts about Maths that can perk up a child’s interest in the subject. Below are a few of them.

Fun Facts about Maths:

#1: In a room of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that 2 people share the same birthday.

#2: Many things found in nature follow the Fibonacci sequence, where every new number is the sum of the two previous numbers (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 …). Examples include the branching in trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, and even the fruit sprouts of a pineapple.

#3: In the past, “0” was not considered a number by the Romans. They started counting from 1 instead.

#4: With just 3 cuts, a round cake can be divided into 8 equal pieces. Can you figure out how?

#5: If you fold a piece of paper in half 103 times, it would exceed the thickness of the observable universe (the region of the universe comprising all matter that can be observed from Earth/its probes). For comparison, 10 folds will give you the width of your hand, and just 30 folds will get you to space!

There are many more amazing facts about Maths that parents can share with their child. For children who may be struggling with the subject, helping them see the ‘cool’ side of Maths can also help them be less apprehensive about it.

Every child learns differently. For some, using assessment books and other conventional study materials may be the best method, while for others a different approach might be required. Finding the best approach takes time, but with the right tools, solving Maths problems can soon be as easy as 1-2-3.