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Lectures in Kerala, InDia, 2024

Updated: Apr 13


Lectures with small children have been always bringing a big surprise to me.

By small children I mean age before 10.

At the same time being a lecturer in the university I have noticed while lecturering with LeWiBo that often students from primary school can answer and solve as complex problems in mathematics,

or at least be not afraid to try to solve them, to be wrong in asnwering the problems, than the students from the high school, or even from the university.

In Kerala (South Region in India) I had possibility to work with students from primarily school.

The connector to school, who brought us to the school told me: 'This is a school, where parents of students are quite poor'.

When I entered the school building, I was mentally prepared to see a grey building, where one may not want to find yourself (stereotype of a school in a poor district).

However it was contrary to it - burst of colors on the walls, painted in flowers, episodes from Indian folkloric stroies.

Just delivering a simple lecture, I had a feeling to enter a festival, some children brought some presents, teachers gave flowers of roses and jasmin. I never did a lecture having flowers on my hands and on chest. The topic of the lecture I was doing was simply 'the introduction to the graph theory'.



Some of the problems may be hard to formally to explain.

There is a certain age of children around 10-13, below which their receptivity is really

high to materials you give them.

The problem I explained to a children was to find a general relation between number of links and nodes

in graphs, known as trees (graphs which have no loops).

Already to explain what 'the relation' formally is to a child is quite a non trivial task, but as a gamified version, I first asked them to draw graphs with me such that all graphs would stay without loops:

'One node, two nodes and one edge, three nodes and two edges' - the student at the blackboard started to count.

Then the class started counting with him.

Then I asked: 'Do you notice anything interesting?'

The student was staring at the blackboard.

Then I asked 'Let us maybe continue then...'

'Four nodes and 3 edges'

I stopped again: 'How many versions of the tree you can have this way?'

While the student was trying to answer the question, I started to draw all possible trees on 4 nodes.

Someone answered 'We have less edges than nodes'.

It was already quite a good answer. I realized how happy it was making me.

The graph theory for 7 years old children who just learned how to count in English was quite unexpected result. I did not study mathematics in English till age of 17. Thinking in a different language is a big challenge, but when prepared and explained in playful way, this may be quite different experience for even young students.






If you travel to India and want to give a lecture there (especially in the South of India), please contact us at info@lewibo.org. We will be happy to prepare and give you our contacts of schools, which we have there.


by Liubov Tupikina


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