Community youth center in Karlstad will make mathematics more attractive
The idea came from an engineering student in the city
In January and February, the Swedish municipality of Karlstad gave full-time students from the local university the opportunity to come up with a creative idea, which could be quickly implemented in the city and bring about positive change.
The winner of the 2022 competition was Atle Andersson Nykvist, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, with his idea to produce an interactive place where people of different ages can learn math by feeling, turning and moving things. His reward is a summer job at the local government.
Stimulate curiosity about mathematics
The City Jury’s motivation for the winning entry reads: “The idea is to create a creative and playful way of approaching a subject which, for many, can be experienced as a challenge. Making math accessible in a simple and unconditional way can help spark curiosity about the subject”.
Additionally, the jury comments that “the business world faces a challenge with the supply of math-related skills. Atle wants to promote public education in the field and we need lots of people in the future who love and want to get good at math”.
Fittingly, the interactive math puzzles will be placed in the new Kronoteket Youth Center, which won the municipality’s architecture award for 2020.
The building already welcomes many visitors of a large age group. Kronoteket combines a park, a recreation center and a library in one place. There, the hope is that Atle’s math puzzles can create community, inclusion, and curiosity about math. Atle, who himself works as a private teacher in the subject, wants the youngest to be able to approach mathematics in a playful way.
He explained: “With this, I hope that people who usually turn their backs when they hear the word math will be encouraged to learn about this fantastic subject instead!”