LEMMA: Learning Environments with Mathematical Modelling Activities

Funding year: 
2 years
Auckland UniServices
School sector
Project start date: 
February 2009
Project end date: 
February 2011
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Caroline Yoon
Research team members: 
Anne Patel, Waiheke High School; Peter Radonich, Northcote High School; Nikki Sullivan, Unitec New Zealand
Research partners: 
The University of Auckland, in partnership with Auckland Girls Grammar School, and Northcote College

Project Description

The LEMMA project—Learning Environments with Mathematics Modelling Activities—grew out of a concern that many of our mathematics students struggle to use mathematical concepts flexibly to solve problems in the real world. The LEMMA project designed learning environments that encourage students to develop sophisticated conceptual understandings and communication competencies through mathematical modelling activities. Like a lemma in mathematics, LEMMA is not a grand theorem or solution, but merely “a stepping stone to a larger result” (Wikipedia, 2009)—the desired result being improved mathematical competencies among New Zealand secondary school students.

Project Contact

Dr Caroline Yoon
Senior Lecturer
School of Science Mathematics and Technology Education
Faculty of Education
The University of Auckland





Project Outputs

Presentations Conferences and Workshops


Mathematical communication: Student work from a model-eliciting activity. Workshop presented at the Auckland Mathematics Association (AMA) day, 22 May 2010.


Multimodal Thinking in Calculus. Talk given at the School of Science Mathematics and Technology Education Research Celebration Day, The University of Auckland, 4 December 2009.

 Extending a Model-Eliciting Activity on ratios and proportions. Workshop presented at the Auckland Mathematical Association Mathematics and Calculus Day, The University of Auckland, 27 November 2009.

LEMMA: Designing learning environments and analysing the mathematical thinking they produce. Talk given at the Mathematics Education Unit GRID Seminar Series, The University of Auckland, 31 July 2009.

 A diagrammatic display of mathematical thinking: Challenges in qualitative analysis. Talk given at the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Research Seminar Series, The University of Auckland, 26 May 2009.