The development and delivery of a KS3 show on careers of mathematicians and a KS4 show on how Maths can be used to judge everyday information.

Lead Research Organisation: Swansea University
Department Name: School of Engineering


'Whose Maths is it anyway?'The aim of this proposal is to inspire and motivate school children in Key Stage 3 (aged 11-14) and Key Stage 4 (aged 14-16) in Wales to continue to study mathematics and computational sciences at GCE A/AS and higher educational levels. The proposal is supported by the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea, which are the partner institutions of the Wales Institute of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. The main contractor on the proposal is Science Made Simple an award winning science communication company specialising in the development of interactive presentations for schools and public groups.The key messages we want to get across are:1. Mathematics is fundamental for science, engineering, finance, industry and commerce.2. A wide range of careers are open to those who study mathematics.3. Mathematics provides key skills required at almost all levels of employment.4. Mathematics provides individuals with empowering skills in private and social life. 5. Mathematics is a living discipline with active researchers.The methods we will use to achieve our aim and put across the key messages are:1. The development and delivery of a new Key Stage 3 (11-14 years old) Roadshow for schools that highlights the range of careers open to mathematicians. Short film clips of inspiring role models will be included. At least 2 of the role models will be involved in current mathematical research.2. The development and delivery of a new Key Stage 4 (14-16 years old) Roadshow for schools that illustrates how mathematics can be used to evaluate information pupils come across in everyday life. It will be based on a game show approach with competing teams of pupils.3. A training programme for researchers and academics in the mathematical and computational sciences across Wales to enhance general skills in public engagement and equip them specifically to deliver one or other of the above shows.The proposal uses an established method of engagement, the roadshow, in a new way. The performance format of the 'Whose Maths is it anyway?' Roadshows means that around 150 pupils can attend each show within their own school. Flexible timings for schools will be offered and the cost to schools of the Roadshows will be heavily subsidised to encourage take up. Resources for both of the Roadshows will be bilingual (English and Welsh).The aim is to deliver 30 of each Roadshow over the life of the project to secondary schools across Wales. With an average audience size of 150 students per show, this gives an anticipated impact of 9000 students. Of the 60 shows it is anticipated that 40 will be delivered by Science Made Simple staff, and the remaining 20 by university research and academic staff thereby widening awareness of university level research in the mathematical sciences. After the end of the project, the Roadshows will continue to be offered which will widen the choice of enrichment and enhancement opportunities to schools in Wales and represent current mathematics research and its applications. It is likely that in an average year, the shows will be booked by schools at least 20 times, giving an ongoing impact of around 3000 students per year.


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