Dr Chris Luke, AC for Northamptonshire and Rutland
Weekly STEP-preparation lessons have been taking place at two centres in Northamptonshire. Courses at the Brooke Weston Academy in Corby and the Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in Wellingborough were well attended by students from half a dozen local schools. For two hours each week, students have been shown how to extend what they have been studying in A level Further Mathematics lessons to tackle challenging STEP questions. They have looked at multinomial coefficients, proved the logical equivalence of the principle of mathematical induction and the well-ordering principle, proved plenty of identities related to binomial coefficients and to numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, and sketched lots of exotic curves!
While most students attending the preparation lessons are intended to take STEP, some are just doing the course for fun, recognising a great opportunity to hone their maths skills. Whatever their motivation, the courses are giving students an outlet to express themselves through maths, and the opportunity to experience the flavour of maths at a university level. Moreover, the lessons have given students the chance to meet like-minded individuals from other local schools.
The courses are due to run for several more months. If any sixth-formers want to join us for the remainder of the course, please contact the course leader, Dr Luke.