Harrow Way teacher Shelley Frape has developed and created a fresh protractor style after years of mathematics learning frustration. The math teacher has redesigned this essential long-standing maths, which hasn’t altered for 100 years, to help prevent confusion and simplify its use in geometry classes. Stationery giant Helix has collaborated with Mrs Frape and will launch from September onwards her new model for delivery across the UK and abroad.
Explaining what led to the protractor overhaul she said: “Having taught secondary school maths for a number of years I could see within my own classrooms that the measurement markings on a traditional protractor were the cause of some confusion. My redesign has removed the anti-clockwise scale and placed the zero line at the very base of the protractor, which makes it easier for students to use while improving their understanding of acute and obtuse angles with the use of the two colours and inclusion of the words, acute and obtuse. These simple changes have made a big difference in the classroom so I’m hoping going forward it will make life easier for both students and maths teachers alike.”
These easy modifications have created a large distinction in the classroom, so I hope it will make life simpler for both learners and math educators alike. “To render her idea a reality, Mrs. Frape collaborated with Idea Reality, a local invention design company, which adopted her concept to produce prototypes of the fresh protractor style for both main and secondary use. From there, she met and collaborated with several colleges to investigate how her protractor redesign actually worked.
Commenting on the study feedback she said: “I collaborated with both main and secondary schools, using their learners with the two fresh protractor methods. With both colleges wrote back that their learners discovered the revised variant much easier to use, the feedback was very favourable, helping to decrease the number of useless mistakes their learners created. Exam boards were then contacted to see whether it would be appropriate for use in their examinations and decided that the non-worded version would be appropriate for use in Key Stage 2 and in an examination environment.
Once I had the green light from the panels, we were nice to go and willing to see if I could get my fresh protractor style to make a difference in schools. “Armed with her prototypes, study results and help from PIXL’s Maths Lead, she approached the giant of the stationery, Helix, who was so pleased with her design and market research that they decided to produce her customized work.
Lianne Fletcher, Marketing Manager at Maped Helix, said: “Helix education products are specifically designed to aid students learning and we felt Shelley’s protractor met this requirement. We’re excited to be launching the new protractor and have already gained listings with major Education Suppliers.
“School can be a challenging time for some children and we aim to make the learning process as stress-free as possible for them. We can’t wait to see the product in students’ hands and see the help it offers them whilst learning.”.
Initially, one of the fresh protractor style of Mrs Frape will be accessible to schools and colleges through the YPO and RM Supplies 2020 catalogues or their own local stationery catalogue (Hampshire County Supplies) and to the public through Amazon.