Using maths in the world of work

Thursday 9th December 2021

I attended two Zoom enrichment events delivered by the AMSP recently called Which Career? - How maths is used in different roles and Which Career? - Meet people working in different roles. Both events were designed for students at KS4 to help them to understand the wide range of jobs that use maths and the different mathematical topics that are used. 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 they use in their day-to-day work and students had the opportunity to ask them questions at the end. The session was very interesting to listen to and highlighted aspects of maths that we may not have thought about yet.

Which Career? - How maths is used in different roles was more interactive – students were able to vote for a career and then engaged in doing some maths 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 seismologist – maybe I’ll get a chance next time.

Which Career? - Meet people working in different roles is running online again in 2022. You can contact your local Area Coordinator to see if they could arrange for Which Career? - How maths is used in different roles to run at your school. Students' comments 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 attending 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, Where maths meets… the world of work. In the meeting, Rachel addressed the following points, and teachers were able to ask questions relevant to the situations in their own schools:

  • How to highlight the use of maths in various careers
  • Support in achieving Gatsby Benchmark 4: Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Showcase 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?"
  • Provide guidance on promoting the study of maths beyond GCSE

If you're interested in learning more about these topics and want ideas to promote the use of maths to your students, please see our dedicated webpage. You'll find short videos and lesson materials suitable for students from KS2 through to KS5, promotional materials suitable for sixth form open evenings, and much more. There's a lot of information and resources to look at, so please contact your local Area Coordinator if you’d like someone to talk you through.

By Hazel Santineer

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