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An interactive lecture show exploring the links between Maths and Shakespeare.

On the 14, 15 & 16 November, Rob Eastaway and Rebecca MacMillan presented ‘Maths Inspiration: Much Ado About Numbers’ at The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham. The show touched on a wide range of maths content found in GCSE Maths such as algebraic proof, ratios and fractions, angle measurement, game strategies, arithmetic and Pythagoras – plus quotes from a wide range of Shakespeare plays including Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet.

Pupils went on stage to play Three-Men’s Morris, to use Robert Record’s method to multiply numbers (and we learnt why the multiplication symbol might be an X) and had the opportunity to write their own Iambic pentameter verses.

We all learnt new facts about music, the planets, the colours of the rainbow, telling the time in 1600 and how much graphite is wasted when you sharpen a pencil. I now understand which goose wing I should use to get a feather for my next quill pen, And the ‘Arithmetician’ in the play Othello had a very interesting name, although I don’t think he used an electronic calculator!

Rebecca and Rob worked well together to present a show with pace, fun and lots of interest, packed with facts and information. The pupils I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

If you get a chance to take any of your pupils to a Maths Inspiration show, I would highly recommend you do.

By Richard Stakes

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