Learning Mathematics Through Mathematical Modelling Processes Within Sports Day Activity

Sakon Tangkawsakul, Nuttapat Mookda, Weerawat Thaikam


Applying mathematics in real-life situations is an important objective of mathematicseducation. Yet in Thailand, the students ' ability to connect mathematics to real-life situations is insufficient. In this study, we adapted the school sports day to provide opportunities to relate real-life situations with mathematical knowledge and skills. This study aims to describe the students' responses and the teacher's interaction during a modelling task. The designing of the modelling task, inspired by the realistic Fermi problems, involves collaboration between mathematics teachers and educators and the participation of 10th grade students. The task is set in the context of bleacher in the school sports day. Each experiment's modelling task lasted for 45 minutes and was conducted in the one-day camp with 45 students. Data were collected through observation, interview, and written task before being analysed through content analysis. The results showed that the students who had no previous mathematical modelling experience engaged in mathematical modelling processes with their friends under the guidance and support of the teacher. Most of them were able to think, make assumptions, collect data, observe, make conjectures and create mathematical models to understand and solve the modelling task.


mathematical modelling, realistic Fermi problems, sports day, real-world problems.

Full Text:



Ang, K. C. (2018). Mathematical modelling for teachers: Resources, pedagogy and practice. Routledge.

Ärlebäck, J. B., & Bergsten, C. (2013). On the use of realistic Fermi problems in introducing mathematical modelling in upper secondary mathematics. In Modeling Students' Mathematical Modeling Competencies (pp. 597-609). Springer, Dordrecht.

Blum, W., & Borromeo Ferri, R. (2009). Mathematical modelling: Can it be taught and learnt? Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Application, 1(1), 45-58.

Borromeo Ferri, R. (2018). Learning how to teach mathematical modeling in school and teacher education. Springer International Publishing.

Borromeo Ferri, R., & Mousoulides, N. (2017). Mathematical modelling as a prototype for interdisciplinary mathematics education? - Theoretical reflections. In T. Dooley & G. Gueudet (Eds.), Proceedings of CERME 10 (pp. 900-907). Dublin, Ireland: ERME.

Efthimiou, C. J., & Llewellyn, R. A. (2007). Cinema, Fermi problems and general education. Physics Education, 42(3), 253-261.

Kertil, M., & Gurel, C. (2016). Mathematical modeling: A bridge to STEM education. International Journal of Education in mathematics, science and Technology, 4(1), 44-55.

Sowder, J. T. (1992). Estimation and number sense. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning: A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (p. 371–389). Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc.

Sunee, Klainin. (2015). Mathematics education at school level in Thailand the development – The impact - The dilemmas. Retrieved from https://library.ipst.ac.th/handle/ipst/959

Tezer, M. (2019). The Role of Mathematical Modeling in STEM Integration and Education. In Theorizing STEM Education in the 21st Century. IntechOpen.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46517/seamej.v10i2.108


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Indexed by:


Southeast Asian Mathematics Education Journal
SEAMEO Regional Centre for QITEP in Mathematics
Jl. Kaliurang Km 6, Sambisari, Condongcatur, Depok, Sleman
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Telp. +62 274 889955
Email: seamej@qitepinmath.org

p-ISSN: 2089-4716 | e-ISSN: 2721-8546

Southeast Asian Mathematics Education Journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

View My Stats

 Supported by: