When Adam Gregson, a UTS Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher, thinks of the renewed building at 371 Bloor, he gets excited about the light and the space.
“With the space in the new building we’ll be able to have math competitions during the school day,” says Adam, who coaches the Math Team. “The most exciting part is we’ll have more students present and they’ll be able to gather afterwards and talk about it. There’s a real energy to it when you have everyone in the same room together.”
Then there’s the light. Adam is looking forward to teaching in bright, modern classrooms with large windows and adaptable furniture. He’s also excited about the creativity that will be fostered in the Lang Innovation Lab, where students will have access to technology like a 3D Carving Machine. Coding is the new writing, a core skill for our changing world that Adam says everyone will need to know, which will be enhanced in the new Media and Innovation labs.
“Innovation and media spaces like that are all about creativity, and mathematics is creative as well. People sometimes just see the algorithms and ‘solve for x.’ Math is solving problems and figuring things out in new ways and any opportunity you have to flex that creative muscle is going to help.”
Creativity in math class is Adam’s forte – he’s taught students how to make origami as part of the lesson, though less now during virtual learning. “Making an origami dodecahedron can teach you about symmetries and transformations, which gets into abstract algebra as well,” he says. (He’s pictured above with a truncated icosahedron origami made from 90 pieces of paper, aka a buckyball.)
The UTS Director of Co-Curricular Mathematics, Adam, and his students are the masterminds behind the fRoot, a magazine of math puzzles, which will make use of the Media Lab in our renewed building.
Under Adam’s leadership, UTS has had several students on the Canadian Math Olympiad Team, including two last year, but he says the real success is how the Math Team has become more of a team, involving students from all grades with an equal gender balance. “We’ve been trying to make math more social and about getting together with your friends and collaborating,” says Adam. “Our big success is that we have so many more students involved in teaching each other math and working as a team.”
And with the new math classrooms in our renewed building, Adam and the Math Team will have even more room to grow at our school.