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Lily Tang-Gentile, AC for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Hampton Gardens School in Peterborough hosted an enrichment day on 28th March for Year 7s to try a range of STEM activities, ranging from the NRich Roadshow to codebreaking. Professor Alan Davies and Dianne Crann led five back-to-back sessions where they introduced the maths behind ‘chases and escapes’ in the real world. Through watching several clips of animal chases, rugby tackles and running competitions, students identified various strategies that the chasers take in order to catch their opponent.

For the first activity, students modelled the scenario of a merchant ship being chased by a pirate ship. They had to draw out the pursuit as the pirate ship gets closer and closer to the merchant ship, so without them knowing, they gradually created a beautiful curve using straight lines. Students then moved onto the ‘three-bug problem’ where bugs are chasing each other from each corner of an equilateral triangle. The results were some beautiful geometry art with curves meeting at the centre of the shape. Some students went on to create other ‘bug problems’ by selecting a different shape.

Quotes from the day:

  • “This was something different to what we normally do in maths lesson, and it’s really fun!”
  • “Great fun day!”
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