The GMMDC’s MATH-ART Competition Project in Schools

MATH-ART Competition in Schools:

The GMMDC launched its first regional pilot Math-Art competition in public secondary schools of the ECP in 2018. The competition promotes links between mathematics and the arts and facilitates the use of creative skills in problem-solving.

Learners were invited to enter in one of two age categories (Grades 8 & 9 and Grades 10-12) and to present their own ideas in 2D Math-Art that would be self-created within certain prescribed dimensions. A 300 - word description of the mathematics linked to their art was also part of the requirement for entries. The competition was free, and the judging was based mostly on creativity in linking Maths and Art. Most of the 133 entries that were received in 2018 were from previously disadvantaged secondary schools in the ECP and most of the artworks were locally exhibited at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum at St George's Park from 19 – 25 May 2018. A prize-giving function was held at this venue at the end of May 2018. The pilot implementation of this exciting new development project was a resounding success. Our key stakeholders, including Umalusi and the DBE gave it strong support. 

The 2018 competition attracted the attention of the organizers of the International Bridges organization with whom the GMMDC had ongoing STEAM collaboration since 2017 via an Erasmus Mundus research project funded by the European Union. As a result, a selection of thirty MATH-ART learner entries from South Africa were exhibited at the annual International Bridges Conference which took place at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in July 2018.


In 2019 the MATH-ART competition was extended to a national project in secondary schools and the response was once again overwhelmingly positive. About 600 entries from 8 provinces in South Africa were received. All of the entries formed part of an STEAM MATH-ART exhibit at the St George's Art Museum in Port Elizabeth in June this year. Again, the 2019 project attracted substantial stakeholder and media support locally and plans are in place to extend this engagement project to an even bigger annual National Math-Art competition in secondary schools in future.

The GMMDC again received a follow-up invitation from the International Bridges Conference organizers to bring an exhibition of winning artworks from South African learners to the Bridges conference in Linz, Austria in July 2019. This exhibit took place at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz from 16-20 July and was again well received. The GMMDC have agreed to collaborate with the Bridges organization to broaden the MATH-ART exhibit to an annual international conference event with STEAM learner artworks of other countries also included.

Follow the links below to view You Tube videos of the 2019 MATH-ART schools competition project of the GMMDC: