The magical power of maths

Thursday 12th March 2020

The term started with a pair of enrichment days at the University of Cambridge and the University of Hertfordshire, both of which featured Ben Sparks speaking about the Creation of Number and Matthew Scroggs introducing students to mathematical braiding.

In Cambridge, the students, who had come from Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire as well as Cambridgeshire, enjoyed a Dragon Quiz and a workshop from Dr Hanne Kekkonen from the university that explored hyperbolic geometry, in addition to Matthew Scroggs' braiding workshop. Ben Sparks brought the mathematical magic, showing groups of students a range of magic tricks which relied on maths, before closing the day with his ever-popular talk.

Later that week, Year 10 students from Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire came together at the University of Hertfordshire for a day of talks, workshops and competitions. The number three was a theme running through the individual and team competitions. Three was the best integer in a powers and reciprocals problem in the mini lecture, and triangles were key to the competitions. The team practical saw an impressive collection of results which were close to the best possible answer. Students enjoyed the maths behind braiding in the workshop led by Matthew, and students and teachers also did an incredible job in leaving the lecture theatre spotless after all of the braiding. The final lecture was extremely well-received, as it was both informative and engaging. Thanks, Ben.

Feedback from the enrichment days included:

  • The braiding explained the maths behind something creative.
  • My favourite session was the tetrahedron task, since we worked with students from other schools.
  • I learnt loads about maths in the lecture on the creation of number.

There is due to be a repeat of the events in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes in July for those who were not able to attend in January.

There are other enrichment opportunities coming up around the region, including Maths Feasts, enrichment visits and enrichment days. Please contact your local Area Coordinator for more details.

By Kristin Coldwell and Val Pritchard

Share this news article