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Community event led by GVSU faculty, staff explores how math impacts nature

  • Photo of participants
  • Field Day participants engaging in activities.
  • Field Day participants engaging in activities.
  • Field Day participants engaging in activities.
  • Field Day participants engaging in activities.
  • Field Day participants engaging in activities.

Posted on June 20, 2018

The 7th annual Allendale Community Field Day offered West Michigan community members of all ages the chance to learn about how math impacts the natural world.

The free event, coordinated by Grand Valley faculty in collaboration with Allendale Public Schools, took place June 16 on the district's K-8 campus.

This year's event celebrated the theme of “Things that Count" — highlighting the impact of mathematics on nature and around the world.

Despite a rainy forecast that moved the day's activities indoors, community members enjoyed a variety of activities, such as constructing origami animals, solving puzzles using codes, exploring patterns in nature and learning how math was done before calculators were invented.

The event was originally co-created by Peter Riemersma, associate professor of geology, and Keith Piccard, adjunct professor of biology at Grand Valley and science teacher at Allendale Middle School.

Over the years, Allendale Community Field Day has developed an infrastructure within Allendale Public Schools to further promote outdoor education through various gardens, bat houses, bird feeders and bee hives.

Riemersma said that involvement from Grand Valley faculty, staff and students has contributed to the positive growth of the event.

"Allendale Community Field Day is citizen science at its best and an opportunity for GVSU professors to share their expertise in a nonacademic setting, while working together towards a common goal, like planting a garden," said Riemersma.