Mathmakers aired orginally on TVO, TV Ontario, TVOntario in 1978. It was sort of a followup to Math Patrol - it seemed to be geared towards children in the intermediate grades.
The show intro with theme song showed the two main characters in a variety of situations.
Cal Harrison played by Derek McGrath was
the male lead on the show .
Derek McGrath later on went to star in the 'hit' TV Show "My Secret Identity" and has recently appeared in "Doc" along with Billy Ray Cyrus
Laurie Greene played by Lyn Harvey was the female lead and Cals' business partner.
A variety of characters would come visit these math experts and give them various jobs to do. In this episode the owner of Camp Swampy Summer Camps (played by the great Barbara Hamilton) needs advertising material that will entice people to come to the camp. The duo showed her various graphs and charts to present thier case.
Derek and Lyn discover a snake on the premises....looks like he escaped from Camp Swampy
Very often during the show - the duo would break out into song and sing a math related song. I was not overly big on this part of the show - but looking back, I guess it was needed - catchy tunes like this would help get the points across effectively.
The highlight of the show of course was Plasticine Man - what terrible tragedy would he help the world escape from this day!
Here is a link that speaks a bit on the
2-D Shapes - Rick forces Cal to produce a maximum amount of material on polygons in a minimum amount of time. When Rick finally makes his exit he adds dimension to mathematics never before considered. Plasticine Man is off to the rescue again and helps the Dingling Brothers Circus recapture its wild animals after a train wreck.
Angles - Over what was supposed to be lunch, Kathy learns that Cal is penniless and needs to earn some money if he wants to continue working on educational television programs. He shows her one of his pet projects based on angles and how a TV commercial can be used to teach the subject.
Fractions - A contestant from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan won't go on Cal's new show, Fraction Game, so Kathy takes his place with surprizing results. While waiting for Kathy to appear, Cal questions the audience on fractions. Plasticine Man helps out and his involvement results in a real blast.
Length - In spite of Cal's antics, Prof. Paddington-Smythe gets down to the basics of length, including the length of a metre and its relationship to centimetres, millimetres and kilometres. Paddington-Smythe even discusses the distance between the sun and the earth and curiously enough, the speed of ants. Plasticine Man tangles with Dr. Cobra again and finds himself in the auto race of the decase.
Mass - Cal is demoted to mere assistant when Laurie's kid brother takes over the show's experiments. Plasticine Man subdues a mechanical monster. Mass, relationships between grams, kilograms and tonnes, mass and cost problems.
Math Review 1 - Plasticine Man brings his agent, his father, who confronts Cal with several demands. Cal explains all the costs of producing the show and eventually works out a new contract that doesn't provide for a raise but will undoubtedly keep Plasticine Man happy.
Money - In a money-pitch, Laurie must wear a tacky MathMouse costume with a pink tutu, while a costly cow gets all the loot. Plasticine Man saves Centre City from having to wear dirty laundry. Budgeting, history of money, change-making problems, money problems with sums up to $10.00, rate problems, time approximations involving weeks and months, interest.
Multiplication - Cal's sensational new staff members, the Motorcycling Wonder Granny, turns out to be a much-falling star. Plasticine Man saves Centre City from escaped tarantulas. Multi. arrays, 2 digit by 1 digit no. mult., repeated addition, assition to 999, regrouping for mult, mult. relationships of multiples of 10 to their 1 digit counterparts, mult. by 100, finding 1/2's of large multiplies of 100, 2 step problems, addition of 4 digit answers, approximation.
Number Properties - Pro. Paddington Smythe lectures on the history of mathematics, which leads him in his weary way into ancient methods of tallying and several truisms involving addition and multiplication. But Cal demonstrates a more interesting approach to mathematics and is surrpised to discover a slide of Paddington-Smythe he hasn't seen before. Plasticine Man and Dr. Cobra match wits on a television game show.
Patterns - Wehn Peg Purvis, a cost accountant from the Board of Education, visits Cal and Kathy on the set she isn't very turned on by the disco scene they're working on, but she does try to help with a cost analysis of the program the two are producing. The indomitable Plasticine Man, on the set to demonstrate his crime-conquering abilities, inadvertently wins Peg Purvis over to the TV program.
Ratios - Another brochure for weird Camp Swampy is completed, and Cal celebrates with an invisible Doodlebug race. Plasticine Man again foils evil Dr. Cobra. Ratio problem solving, charting methods of recording ratio information, scale drawings, scale models, rate questions involving time and distance, and time and size.
Symmetry - Cal uses a variety of quiz shows to involve his audience contestants in the complexities of symmetry. Symmetry in environmental situations and in symbols is explored. Plasticine Man must come to the rescue and defuse a robot who has been programmed to destroy all things symmetrical.
Tesselations - Cal, Kathy and Duke get down to mosaic basics when they get involved in the quiz show Shape Up and Sit Down. Tesselation is the name of the game for Plasticine Man too when he pieces together his solution to the problem of the airplane on a faulty runway.
The people who brough this great show together:
AActors: Derek McGrath, Lyn Harvey, Barbara Hamilton
Writer: Joanne Hauser
Consultant: John Bates
Audio: George Claridge
Animation: Warren Animotion
Graphic Artists: Geoff Cheeseboro, Michael Reinhart
Technical Director: Jim Anderson
Lighting Director: Alf Hunter
Studio Director: Cy Fawcett
Production Assistant: Christina Creed
Videotape Editor: Brian Elston
Producer/Director: Clive VanderBurgh