- Museum of the History of Science - http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk -

Mathematics

A painting called 'The Measurers' [1]

The Measurers

The Museum has many objects related to mathematics including calculating devices, clocks and sundials, measuring instruments, navigational instruments, surveying equipment, a remarkable collection of mathematical instruments from the Renaissance period, and Einstein’s famous blackboard! A visit to the Museum can highlight several areas of practical mathematics in the real world combined with a historical perspective.

Secondary programme leaflet

Secondary and post-16 sessions are:

Please contact the education officer if you would like more information about an existing session or to discuss a proposal for a bespoke session.

Key Stage 3

student handling a sextant [3] Ingenious Geometers: The art of navigation
[4]

  • Discover the use of geometry in navigation.
  • Object handling with navigational instruments.
  • Solve a mathematical challenge.
German diptych dial_icon [5] Time Tellers: Sundials
[6]

  • Movement of the Earth and Sun.
  • Discover sundials and make working models.
  • Learning through objects.

Key Stage 4

[7] Secret Knowledge: The Art and Science of Perspective [8]

  • Optical demonstrations.
  • Geometry and the invention of linear perspective.
  • Hands-on drawing with camera obscuras.
Astrolabe [9] Discover the Astrolabe
[10]

  • Introduction to a unique collection of astrolabes.
  • Explore ideas about astronomy and the universe.
  • Make a model astrolabe and find out how it works.

Post-16 and A-level

Sessions available at KS4 can generally be adapted for post-16 students including Discover the Astrolabe, and may also be linked with visits to other academic departments of the University such as the Department of Mathematics [11].