Week of events help make maths count
Staff in the University’s School of Mathematics are helping young people get to grips with the subject.
A host of engaging videos, teaching events and family-focused activities are helping pupils overcome maths anxiety.
Maths Week Scotland, which takes place 10 – 16 September, is a Scottish Government initiative that showcases the benefits of maths engagement around the country.
Drawing on their passion for the subject, five maths graduates have taken part in a series of videos to help secondary school students love maths.
The graduates include a video game programmer, a financial professional and a transport planner who explain how they use maths in everyday life and challenge the public with a puzzle related to their job.
The School is also hosting a reception for more than 100 maths teachers on Thursday, 13 September.
Chris Smith, Scottish Teacher of the Year 2018 will talk about “pi-day antics over the years”, while the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney will give the keynote address. Dr Sue Sierra, Senior Lecturer in School will also talk about the latest maths research.
Teachers will have the opportunity to engage with hand-on activities to help inspire novel teaching ideas that they can bring back to the classroom.
A special Maths Circle event will be held at the School on Saturday, 15 September for children aged 5 to 16 and their families.
This event, in the James Clerk Maxwell Building, is a fantastic way for parents to join in maths activities, games and puzzles.
Dr Francesca Iezzi, Mathematics Engagement Officer with the University’s School of Mathematics said the importance of maths as a subject is often undermined, and hopes that events like Maths Week Scotland can help shift this mind-set.
Culturally it seems acceptable to say I’m not good at maths – but we’d never say this about reading. Many people think of maths as just numbers or equations, but there is much more involved. Maths is an essential life skill that you use when reading a map, playing a strategy game, packing your car, or untangling a knot. We want to help people defeat maths anxiety and see the beauty and creativity that maths can inspire.