Hazel Santineer, AC for Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex
With International Women’s Day celebrated at the start of March, this term has seen a number of enrichment days held to specifically encourage girls to pursue maths education and other STEM subjects.
160 Year 10 girls from schools across Sussex flocked to the University of Sussex for a fantastic Women in Maths day. Rachel Beddoes, Girls’ Participation Coordinator for the AMSP, kickstarted the day with an interactive lecture to raise awareness of how maths can fit into girls’ futures and where it can take them. Attendees then split into groups to explore the university campus and meet some of the students, who set up a carousel of stalls to demonstrate some of their research. This included some live experiments and opportunities for the girls to see how maths is crucial to all the sciences.
After lunch the girls had the opportunity to win £20 and/or a Freddo bar as they considered probabilities in an interactive lecture on Fake News with Zoe Griffiths from Think Maths. Although no one won the £20 note, a few Freddo bars were given out! Rob Eastaway concluded the day with an engaging lecture where he involved everyone in various maths problems. Everyone left enthused at the end of the day. Credit must go to Letty Gallagher from Peacehaven Community School, who took the lead in bringing this day together.
A smaller event also took place and was equally inspiring following the re-run of a girls enrichment day at Mayfield School, where girls got a taste for the different elements of maths they will study at A level. The day concluded with Ben Sparks’ popular keynote talk on the Creation of Number, which the girls found particularly stimulating. Some of their comments included:
- “It taught me something new and I found it interesting and I understood it. It made me realise how important maths is…”
- “It was really interesting and, even though it contained hard maths, I could follow it”
- “Lots of fun and great variety of topics.”
- “Very informative and interesting. I had a good day!”
Girls’ Conferences have been running in the area for several years and are always popular. We are fully booked once again, with 240 students over two days at Oxford University. The students attend workshops exploring such things as business risks, disaster management and bridge design.
Keep an eye on the AMSP events page for similar events near your school. Our regular Year 10 enrichment days are open to boys and girls, but you may want to reflect on who most needs encouragement to study maths! More events are planned for July in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.