National Numeracy Day

Thursday 15th July 2021

In May, we were able to deliver an enrichment event face-to-face again. Biddick Academy in Sunderland invited us in to provide some enrichment sessions for their students for National Numeracy Day.

It was great to be able to engage with both teachers and students again and we'd like to thank Biddick Academy for their hospitality. The students were excellent and the teachers very positive and welcoming. Please get in touch with your local Area Coordinator if you'd like to organise a free bespoke event for your school with us.

The event featured three sessions and we also gave the department some resources to use courtesy of the legendary Phil Moxon who now works as an Associate for the AMSP.

Session 1 was based on a 'Core Maths style' lesson. Students looked at the process of chocolate production and consumption using Fermi estimation to approximate the following (you may want to ask your students these and send us some solutions):

  • how much each person spends on chocolate in the UK in a year
  • how many bars of chocolate you'll eat in a lifetime, how much it will cost, and how much it will weigh in KG.

Students also discussed the production of chocolate and all the processes involved, as well as finding out about Fairtrade chocolate.

Session 2 started with a hands-on activity based on Fractal geometry, developing the use of scaling techniques to solve problems. The students then discovered interesting properties of Fractals in terms of infinite perimeters and finite areas, and finally showed application of fractals to mobile communication technology.

Session 3 was titled 'Trees, Towns and Bubbles' and introduced a group of Year 10 students to some of the principles covered in Decision/Discrete maths. Students looked at minimum spanning tree problems, which are used in industries such as network cabling to minimise costs. We also looked at Steiner problems. You can view a video demonstration of the bubbles by Jamie Grimes on YouTubeOpens a new window. You can also find our resources for the International Day of Mathematics on the AMSP website.

By Jeremy Dawson, Valerija Peles and Glyn Evans

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