A Year 9 career event to inspire young minds.
It’s reasonable for students to question the purposes of studying maths. Too often, it seems, students see the subject as some kind of ‘intelligence test’ for progressing to other levels of education, and, subsequently industry, which seemingly do not have much connection with mathematics.
In collaboration with the Ormiston Academy Trust, we have developed a half-day event designed to open students’ minds to the uses of mathematics. Unusually for AMSP work, the event was designed to include ALL Year 9 students rather than simply those aspiring to post-16 study in maths.
Working with teachers and MAT subject leads based at Sandymoor Ormiston Academy, Runcorn. We planned the day to include the following:
- Resources and videos from the AMSP ‘World of Work’ series to highlight the role maths plays across a wide range of careers.
- A session on setting up a small business.
- A competitive simulation of the running of students’ business
- A panel of guests able to talk to students and answer questions concerning their careers and the mathematics needed to work effectively.
To set up their business (a small independent coffee shop), students worked in groups to discuss and make a poster version of a business plan, detailing set-up costs, running costs and expected income. Later, using some basic statistics and the roll of a dice, they ran their business to see if it was likely to be profitable. Finally, groups were given the opportunity to consider expanding their business and estimate the potential effects of doing so.
Feedback from our students suggests they really enjoyed the day, especially the fact that everyone was involved in all the activities and could hear stories from actual people – just like them – working in the real world and making use of mathematical skills.
We plan to run the same event at different locations in the region. If you are interested in hosting an event like this, please get in touch: [email protected]