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Timeline of Mathematics Scavenger Hunt

Introduction

The Timeline of Mathematics at mathigon.org/timeline is a wonderful place to explore some of the greatest mathematicians and some of the biggest mathematical discoveries in history. In this scavenger hunt, students search the timeline for a variety of mathematicians and artifacts.

Student Document

The document below has 40 items for students to find on the timeline. The items are listed in chronological order. Some options include:

  • Invite students to work in small groups and see how many items them can find as a group.
  • Use this as an ongoing assignment that students can work on over a certain period of time.
  • Identify certain questions students should answer.
  • Initially, only share a few pages with students. Share additional pages over the course of the school year.
  • Make a copy of the document and edit the document.

Students will be viewing the timeline on a device, so it may be best for them to have a paper copy of the scavenger hunt.

Timeline Scav. Hunt - Student Worksheet: All Questions
docs.google.com/document/d/1Ek9_vbutLnFqRPkN6hw56T3szx6NWKWrhcc7WKDEmuQ/edit?usp=sharing

Teacher Notes and Answer Key

Timeline Scan Hunt - Teacher Key
docs.google.com/document/d/1W0V84a6E8ACGM5I0pFf4I9KrjYZc7L6Q9MS307pF7rc/edit?usp=sharing

Themes

Some names of well-known topics in mathematics aren't actually named for the first mathematicians to explore that idea. The timeline entries below appear in the scavenger hunt and provide examples of this idea.

Continue the Activity

As a follow-up activity, encourage students to make up a scavenger hunt entry for a mathematician or artifact not included in this activity.

Suggestions

Do you have suggestions to improve this activity? Please email them to teachers@mathigon.org.