Primary students get to grips with maths challenges

  • Posted On: 4 July 2019
  • Author: Jill Lundberg
Primary students get to grips with maths challenges

Over 60 primary school students have tested their maths skills at challenge events hosted at Richmond School and Sixth Form College.

The first involved the students getting to grips with creative and robotics design in an interactive Lego Challenge. Under the watchful eye of twelve Year 10 Richmond School helpers, the budding engineers worked in teams of three to build and program a robot to clear a 1m square area of 100 Lego bricks in two hours. Other teams of three had to demonstrate their creative skills by writing a skit on the theme of ‘In an amazing twists of events’ and then construct the set and characters, before performing the skit.

Students from Bolton-On-Swale, Michael Syddall, North Cowton, Richmond Methodist and Richmond Trinity all rose to the challenge and created some stunning designs and inspiring back stories.  The project proved to be a great way of injecting fun into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with the students tackling the design challenges with enthusiasm. It was a wonderful team-building activity where the groups worked closely together developing their designs and building their final models.  There were three awards won by: Richmond Trinity Academy (Best Teamwork), Bolton-On-Swale (Best Creative Story) and Richmond Methodist School (Best Robotics Solution).

The second event, Maths24, was a mental maths competition for gifted and talented students where the objective is to calculate the number 24 using all four numbers on special playing card. Years 5 and 6 students from nine schools took part in this secondary transition event and the students really enjoyed competing on an intellectual level.  Eleven Year 10 student leaders worked with the groups in this very popular event, now in its twelfth year at Richmond School.

The students had an unexpected surprise, as unknown to them, a Professor of Mathematics had been invited as a guest to present the awards. They were thrilled to listen to Professor Andrew Slade talk to them about the value of maths at school and also in their future careers.  Professor Slade is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University and was previously Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Bedfordshire, following senior posts at the University of Durham and Sunderland University in Mathematical Sciences and research and innovation.  He was delighted to be invited to present  Maths24 challenge awards and was most impressed with how engaged and stimulated the students were, praising the staff for creating these opportunities and giving the students a flavour of life at secondary school.

 

Professor Slade said: "The technological developments of today, mobile telephones, the internet amongst them are based upon advanced in many fields, including materials science and data science. These are both underpinned by advances in mathematics especially in data compression and modelling. Today I saw young people engaged in mathematical challenges which will enable them to continue those developments in their chosen careers."

The competition was very close and it was Wavell who won the competition, for the third year in a row.

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