The MathsLAB project receives the recognition and support of the FECYT Foundation

The institution highlights the interest of LABoral’s Mathematics and Creativity Workshop

Published: Jun 22, 2011
The MathsLAB project receives the recognition and support of the FECYT Foundation

A groups of studens during the MathsLAB's worshop. Photo: Marcos Morilla/LABoral

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) has recognised the MathsLAB Art and Mathematics Workshop project -developed since April 2010 at the Centre of Art and Industrial Creation-  for the second time since its creation. FECYT sets out its collaboration within the  framework of the Call for Grants of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Programme 2011 and singles out this proposal by LABoral “for its relevance, viability and interest”, as well as “the space for creativity –the Art Centre in Gijón- where the activities take place”.

MathsLAB is a pioneering educational project aimed at transmitting to  students and general public a different way of understanding mathematics, highlighting the relation that exists between art and maths. The initiative takes into account the spirit of collaborative working and as part of a network which pervades all of the activities at the Art Centre and has succeeded in bringing together a group of institutions and specialists who have made MathsLAB into an open space for experimentation and learning. In this manner, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Principality of Asturias, the University of Oviedo through the Advanced Analytical Intelligence Cathedra (Ia2), the Royal Mathematical Society, the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), Gijón’s Science and Technology Park, the Gijón Teacher and Resource Centre, the Agustín de Pedrayes Mathematical Society and the Vodafone Foundation have all been actively involved in its progress.

MathsLAB is additionally supported by a team of mathematicians, pedagogues and artists including the participation of Santos González, lecturer in Algebra at the University of Oviedo, as promoter and director; Fernando Corbalán, lecturer in Mathematics at educational centre CPEPA ‘E. Navarro’ in Utebo (Zaragoza) and coordinator of the Vital Mathematics Programme in the Department of Education of the Aragón government, as its General Coordinator; Abel Martín, maths teacher at Pérez de Ayala secondary school in Oviedo, member of the Asturian Society of Mathematical Education "Agustín de Pedrayes"; Belarmino Corte, lecturer in mathematics in secondary school education and director of the Gijón Teacher and Resource Centre; Manuel José Sastre, mathematician and teacher at La Corredoria secondary school; Antonio Palacio Muñiz, Ángel Salar, lecturer in mathematics at secondary education schools and  National Teacher; to which can be added the team of mediators at LABoral, the driving force of all its activities, set up as a cultural service to facilitate understanding and dialogue between the user and the Centre.

MathsLAB is the only stationary space in the world dealing with the relationship between art, creativity and mathematics. Although many scientific museums sporadically dedicate activities to mathematics, or have held exhibitions which show the connections between both disciplines, there is only one precedent of MathsLAB: Mathematikum, a centre dedicated specifically to mathematics which is located in the German town Giesse, 60 kilometres north of Frankfurt. However, its main objective is to spread the foundations of mathematics-by way of conferences, exhibitions and special weekend activities- and its activity is not specifically focused on this science’s relationship with art.

Since its starting up, hundreds of school children, especially from primary and secondary schools, have passed through the classrooms at MathsLAB and participated in mathematical workshops and activities related to art, technology and creativity. The workshop can also be visited individually or collectively by people who can join in the recreational and educational proposals designed by a group of educators.

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) is a state public sector foundation formed on 5th June 2001 as an instrument of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, MICINN, with the aim of reinforcing the value chain for knowledge, boosting science and innovation, promoting their integration and bringing them closer to society, responding to the needs and expectations of the Spanish System of Science, Technology and Enterprises (SECTE).

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