Using maths in the world of work

Thursday 27th May 2021

In March 2021, I attended two AMSP enrichment events on Zoom called Which Career? - How maths is used in different roles and Which Career? - Meet people working in different roles. Both events were designed to help KS4 students to understand the wide range of jobs that use maths and the different mathematical topics that are used within these jobs. Unless you've worked in another industry before, it’s very difficult to find relevant examples of the use of maths in different roles and, even if you have, you're limited to your own experience.

In Which Career? - Meet people working in different roles, we listened to interviews with three people working in three different jobs talking about the maths that they use in their day-to-day work and students had the opportunity to ask questions in the Q&A at the end. The session was very interesting to listen to and highlighted aspects of maths that we may not have thought about yet. This event will be repeated in July and the interviews will be with different people so it's well worth joining, even if you already attended the event in March.

Which Career? - How maths is used in different roles was more interactive, as students were able to vote for a career and then engaged in doing some maths that related to the three most voted for careers. In the session that I joined, we did some maths used by Graphics and VFX designers, Journalists and Sports Scientists. I was really hoping to see Seimologist – maybe I’ll get a chance when this event is repeated in July.

Feedback that the AMSP received from students after the events included, “It showed me jobs I didn’t know existed” and, “It’s great to get real life advice from people working in those jobs”.

After these career events, I invited Rachel Beddoes, who is the Girls Participation and Careers Coordinator for the AMSP, to run the Mayfield Teacher Network meeting titled Where maths meets… the world of work. In the meeting, Rachel covered a wide range of topics:

  • The use of maths in various careers
  • Support in achieving Gatsby Benchmark 4: linking curriculum learning to careers
  • A number of resources that teachers can access for free and share with their students
  • Answers to the ever-challenging question, "Why would I ever need to use this in real life?"
  • Guidance on promoting the study of maths beyond GCSE

Teachers who attended were also able to ask questions relevant to the situations in their own schools.

If you're interested in learning more about these topics and you'd like ideas to promote the use of maths to your students, you can access more information and resources on the AMSP website. There are short videos and lesson materials suitable for students from KS2 through to KS5, promotional materials suitable for sixth form open evenings, and much more. Please contact your local Area Coordinator if you’d like someone to talk you through any of the materials.

By Hazel Santineer

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