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Sheila Eastwood, AC for Calderdale, Kirklees, South/East Leeds and Wakefield

We’ve ran enrichment events for students of all ages in West Yorkshire this summer term. The first event took place at Huddersfield on 1 July, when around 85 Year 10 students from Halifax to Harrogate (and several points between) enjoyed 3 workshops, including Fractals, the Mobius Band, the Mathegraphical Domain, Taxicab Geometry and the Fun Maths Roadshow. After a lunchtime quiz, they were entertained by a talk from Colin Wright on Patterns and Predictions, which included quite a lot of juggling, and how he uses maths to avoid collisions at sea!

On 5 July, a similar number of Year 9 students from schools across Bradford took part in a series of workshops at Beckfoot School, including Magic Maths, Abstract Algebra, Optimisation and the Fun Maths Roadshow. In the afternoon session, Maths and the Movies, Tom Button highlighted the surprising importance of maths in the film industry, particularly its crucial role in computer generated images, which play a significant part in virtually all modern films.

The third event, for almost 70 Year 12 students and their teachers, was held at Leeds University, and focused on problem solving, a key part of the new A level exam. Students engaged in three out of four workshops – Asking the Right Questions, Key Problem Solving Techniques, Working in a Group and a Menagerie of Problems. Their teachers had the opportunity to find out about university admissions tests in the afternoon, while the students had an enrichment talk from James Cranch of Sheffield University about Continued Fractions. He considered a piece of arithmetic they could have learned years ago, detoured into nuclear power station safety, then quickly solved some equations, which would previously have been troublesome.

All three events received very positive feedback, and both teachers and students look forward to having the opportunity to attend more events next year. Enrichment allows students to experience the diverse range of maths and its applications that school maths fails to cover. Keep an eye on our events listing for more enrichment events where you are!

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