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Kristin Coldwell, AC for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

Students and teachers from around the region flocked to the Centre for Mathematical Sciences for a day of problem solving, with an emphasis on the advanced skills needed for university admissions tests like MAT, TMUA and STEP in particular.

Some sessions involved both students and teachers together, such as the opening and closing plenaries on the nature of problem-solving and Dr Chris Saker’s talk. At other times, students worked on Fun Maths Roadshow problems, Writing and Presenting Solutions and NRICH activities while teachers had separate sessions on the admission tests required by different universities and the resources available to support students. We were very lucky to be supported by members of the NRICH and STEP Support programmes in Cambridge who led sessions for both teachers and students.

Quotes from participants:

  • “Working with others on the problems that were from other schools was of most value to students. This gave a deeper view of the variety of approaches that may not have been covered.” (teacher)
  • “NRICH was really useful as was the signposting to resources.” (teacher)
  • “My favourite session was the Hands on Problem Solving where we worked together on challenging problems as it was practical and interesting.” (student)
  • “The workshops were very informative and interesting. The event gave a good understanding of problem solving.” (student)
  • “It was very fun and gave an insight for university maths.” (student)
  • “I liked the Fun Maths Roadshow. It encouraged us to work together on fun maths puzzles.” (student)

This annual event is part of a programme of support for higher level problem solving for both students and teachers. There are regular problem solving classes which take place after school or on Saturday mornings in Cambridge, Peterborough, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Hertfordshire and around the country. There are also day courses for teachers who want to know more about developing their students’ problem-solving skills. Please check the AMSP events listing or contact your local area coordinator for more details.

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