Cultural Maths games – Mobility in France

Clermont Ferrand, a city in the continental French region of Auvergne, was visited by members of the Erasmus teams of Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Portugal. This mobility was preceded by a week of French culture, which involved many teachers and students and conducted fun and educational activities.

As part of the “Playing with Maths” project launched before the pandemic, it was planned that students and teachers would go to a friendly city and two partner schools, Collège La Charme and Collège Albert Camus. 

Given the current epidemiological rules of the host country, only vaccinated citizens could travel, and therefore only teachers went on this mobility. During the week, a team from another Erasmus project was hosted by the French, so we had the opportunity to hang out with students and teachers from Finland, Latvia, Spain and Italy.

At the beginning of the working week, a tour of partner schools, working meetings and socializing with students were organized to exchange experiences… A number of activities were organized in free time. Clermont Ferrand is a city of about 140,000 inhabitants known for its Michelin car tire industry.

This is a city with a rich history and diverse architecture, and we explored its core through the game of treasure hunting. The core consists of the old episcopal city of Clermont, which in 1630 merged with neighboring Montferrand. There are many archaeological and architectural monuments from VII-XIII.

Romanesque church of Notre-Dame-du-Port from the 11th-12th centuries; Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption from the 13th century. It is the hometown of Blaise Pascal, a famous philosopher and mathematician whose collection of personal belongings we had the opportunity to see in the museum.

It is located at the foot of a chain of old extinct volcanoes. The largest volcano Puy-de-Dôme can be climbed by a steep hiking trail almost five kilometers long. All the way through this challenging walk through the clouds one can enjoy the view of a dense forest covered with ancient trees, ferns and a thick carpet of moss.

In this region, tourism is based on volcanoes and we visited the educational amusement park Vulcania. There, in addition to replicas of volcanoes and geysers, it is possible to experience a flight over lava, an earthquake in an industrial plant due to the movement of tectonic plates.

We saw the history of the world’s great volcanoes through interactive exhibitions and many other facilities for different ages. Near this city is the charming town of Vichy, once known for its spas and spas, which was visited by Napoleon III., And today for cosmetics and the French tell us for menthol candies or as they say lozenges.

We enjoyed the diverse architecture of Byzantine, Venetian, neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau and Art Deco influences with expert guidance and noticed that the inhabitants of the city come to the spring with bottles to pour mineral water which is supposedly healing, and that it is full of minerals.

It has an unusual taste, quite salty and thick as oil when applied to the skin. We experienced a touch of medieval life when visiting the Murol castle or the Château de Murol. It is a fortress above the village of the same name built of volcanic (eruptive) black stone in the 12th century.

The castle on one of the many hills, is located near the favorite French resort, Lake Chambon.

The hosts did their best to visit as many natural and cultural sights as possible, experience the atmosphere of their city full of cultural diversity and get to know their educational system and connect students with a kind of multicultural network. The activities ended with socializing over dinner and the distribution of gifts and certificates.

The math games prepared by the math teachers for the occasion will be published by appointment in the electronic edition of the book, and the next project mobility is planned for November. Our teachers and students will travel to Portugal and continue the Erasmus KA2 project “Playing with Maths”.

Ivana Kuna