As part of the Bielefeld Science Festival GENIALE, which takes place every third year, the open GENIAL mental arithmetic championships have been inspiring young and old since 2014. The only prerequisites for participation are mastery of the basics and a lot of fun. The preparative workshops as well as the championship itself always find active participation. Students of the University of Bielefeld from the seminar of Prof. Dr. Kleine, Department of Didactics of Mathematics, prepare the participants for the competition on two days in the premises of the Old Town Hall. In various workshops, they reveal tips and tricks that make it easier to calculate the complex tasks in their heads. On the day of the competition, everyone can finally show what they have learned in the workshops.
In the 45-minute competition, the arithmetic acrobats will finally have to crack numerous brain nuts: calendar calculation, prime factor decomposition, converting Roman numbers, addition, subtraction and multiplication of multi-digit numbers. The only aids allowed in the art of calculating the head are glucose, a pen to write down the results and brains. At the final award ceremony, the lucky arithmetic acrobats receive their certificates, prizes and medals. All participants prove that they are ingenious calculators.
Kirsten Biedermann from the non-profit association of the Ravensberg Inventors' Workshop, Prof. Dr. Michael Kleine and his students from the Institute of Mathematics Didactics at Bielefeld University and the Andreas Mohn Foundation team will all work together on the project. The aim is not to let the cultural science of mathematics fall into oblivion. Mathematics can be taught with pleasure. This was proved by the workshops and a joint evening with snacks and puzzles. The participants have fun together learning and applying new calculation methods. The age does not play a role thereby. May a person who was frustrated by school and afraid of math discovers a new passion and his own ability. This proves that mathematics is quite exciting on the one hand and offers on the other hand also a large social value by joint learning and applying.