As Maths Week 2018 draws to a close, we welcome a guest blog from Maths Olympiad Agnijo Banerjee.
Agnijo won gold at this year’s International Mathematical Olympiad in Romania receiving a perfect score of 42 out of 42 in the 2-day/nine hour-long competition, he was one of only two out of 594 contestants to achieve a perfect score. This was the UK’s first perfect score in 24 years. A truly remarkable achievement.
Last week Agnijo met the Deputy First Minister for lunch at Holyrood, after which he reflected on his achievement at the Olympiad and his hopes for the future.
I knew I had a passion for mathematics from a very early age. In primary school, I was always moved up several years until eventually they contacted Grove Academy and I ended up going there for maths. I was taught one-to-one by one of the maths teachers from Grove Academy and I did my Standard Grade in Primary 7.
Grove Academy has been extremely supportive of me throughout, and has always ensured that I am adequately challenged. In the last two years of school, I went to Dundee University to try some of their modules (third year in S5, fifth year in S6).
Grove Academy has also encouraged me to take part in a number of mathematics competitions and I have been doing the British Mathematical Olympiad ever since S2. The British Mathematical Olympiad is part of the long selection process that ultimately leads to the International Mathematical Olympiad, which I did this year .
It was a wonderful experience to go to the International Mathematical Olympiad. The actual competition was over two days. On each day there were 3 questions to solve in 4 1/2 hours, with the first question on each day being “easy” (they are all extremely difficult, but these were easy relative to the others), the second being “medium”, and the third being “hard”. The two hard questions were extremely difficult but I managed to solve both of them. It was amazing to be the first UK contestant in 24 years to achieve a perfect score. ie 100%.
It was a great honour to meet the Scotland’s Education Minister Mr. John Swinney . I was invited to Holyrood to meet him during the Scottish Maths Week. I was very pleasantly surprised when he took a keen interest and asked me questions about the IMO and my other academic achievements. I felt greatly motivated by being recognised by the minister. I presented him a copy of my book Weird Maths , which hopefully he will enjoy reading.
In the future I want to reach the top of my chosen field- Mathematics and hope to able to make Scotland proud.
Reflecting on his meeting with Agnijo, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, said:
“It was a pleasure to meet Agnijo and his father today and Maths Week Scotland 2018 is the perfect opportunity to celebrate his astonishing achievements in the Maths Olympiad.
“Agnijo is a credit to Grove Academy and a shining example of how Scotland’s state school education can nurture ability and help talent flourish.
“We need to make sure that as a country we have all of the skills that we require for the future and in schools we need to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills that will serve them well for life.”
Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Pitlochry High School today for a special Maths Week Scotland performance by ‘International Mathemagian’ Andrew Jeffrey.
A professional magic show with a twist, the show was entirely based around mathematics and learning with tricks using numbers, shapes, money, mind-reading and illusions.
"You are all smarter than a calculator" Andrew Jeffries Mathemagician inspiring us all to realise our potential today.
@BlairgowrieHS and @BreadalbaneAcad #MathsWeekScot @JohnSwinney @PKCEducation @EducationScot @engagefored #mathsrocks pic.twitter.com/g5zHsL7NEU
— Pitlochry HighSchool (@PitlochrySchool) September 12, 2018
Speaking after the show, Mr Swinney said:
“Andrew’s entertaining performance completely embodied the spirit of Maths Week Scotland and our ambition to show people the beauty, accessibility and possibilities of maths. His interactive style, mixed with humour and intrigue, combined to create the perfect formula for engaging both those who love maths as well as pupils who sometimes lack confidence to engage in the classroom.
” It was fantastic to see the young people in the audience completely captivated by Andrew’s tricks and illusions. After the show I met with some of the pupils and I was interested to hear their individual experiences of maths and how events like this can help to bring the subject to life.”
It was a fun-filled, energetic #MathsWeekScot event @PitlochrySchool with Maths Magician @AJMagicMessage. Great that @BlairgowrieHS and @BreadalbaneAcad were there too. Really inspiring event. pic.twitter.com/pGPeT6uZ8Z
— John Swinney (@JohnSwinney) September 12, 2018
Mathemagian Andrew Jeffrey said:
“I get a sense that there’s a real buzz about Maths Week Scotland which is brilliant to see. Events like this show us that we can start to enjoy and have fun with maths and we all know that we work harder at things we enjoy.”
Hundreds of events, activities and lectures are taking place across the country this week as part of Maths Week Scotland 2018. Join the conversation on Twitter with #MathsWeekScot
More than 70 years after Alan Turing and his colleagues cracked the Enigma code, helping to save many millions of lives during World War II, their story remains an inspiration to budding mathematicians around the world.
Throughout Maths Week Scotland students in Angus will be given the chance to step into Turing’s famous shoes and learn more about his team’s vital work.
Practical workshops run by the education team from Bletchley Park will test their problem solving skills and show them the fundamentals of codebreaking. Students will also have the rare opportunity to see a real, working Enigma machine.
Great to see @RichardLochhead MSP getting stuck into our #AngusSchools Codebreaking sessions today!
He even wore one of our #TeamAngus t-shirts for a photo too! #WhatAGuy!
Thanks to the team at @MonifiethHigh, @scotgov and @AngusCouncil for helping make this visit happen. pic.twitter.com/ldtkO6bgcO
— Peter Todd (@PeterHTodd) September 11, 2018
Speaking after meeting students involved in one of the workshops at Monifieth High School, Science Minister Richard Lochhead said:
“From cyber security to artificial intelligence, maths provides the essential framework for the life-changing advances that are re-shaping our world.
“Technology has clearly developed considerably since the 1940s but today’s event was a reminder that the logical and computational thinking processes used by the original Bletchley Park codebreakers are now more relevant than ever.
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity so see an original Enigma machine in action and hear how maths provided the vital framework for cracking the code while providing a fun and interesting way to learn maths.
“As we face the digital challenges of the 21st century there are countless opportunities for young people with maths skills. I hope Maths Week Scotland will help to spread that message and encourage more people to think positively about maths.”
A maths magician, a guitar physicist and a codebreaking team from Bletchley Park are among the highlights of Maths Week Scotland, which starts across the country today.
It is #MathsWeekScot 2018 and I am delighted to launch the first of seven daily puzzles I will be tweeting this week. For help, check out the videos created by @BBCScotLearn with @aap03102 . The puzzle is here: https://t.co/SOhEUpP6oy pic.twitter.com/JlmfNpqBZJ
— John Swinney (@JohnSwinney) September 10, 2018
There are hundreds of events, activities and lectures lined up with the aim of bringing numeracy to life and showing the fun side of maths.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney will share a new maths challenge on Twitter every day, created for him by the Scottish Mathematical Council, and BBC Learning have teamed up with Scottish Teacher of the Year Chris Smith to create videos demonstrating how to solve the puzzles.
Are you all trying @johnswinney's #MathsWeekScot challenge? Here are Chris Smith and some pupils from @GrangeAcademy in Kilmarnock to give you some helpful 'steps' to solving the problem! @aap03102 pic.twitter.com/yQs0uSolyw
— BBC Scotland Learning (@BBCScotLearn) September 10, 2018
Mr Swinney said:
“Maths is an essential life skill for everyone to use, enjoy and to be successful – it underpins all aspects of life. Raising awareness about the importance and relevance of maths is vital – particularly as our society is becoming increasingly underpinned by data analysis, science and technology.
“Undoubtedly maths provides the framework for life-changing advances in all of these fields and celebrations like Maths Week Scotland challenge misconceptions and negative attitudes that discourage learners by demonstrating the accessibility, relevance and beauty of maths.
“Maths Week is at the heart of our drive to make Scotland more positive in its attitude towards numeracy and maths. Whether you’re a maths whizz, or haven’t thought about it since your last lesson at school, there is something for everyone, with hundreds of events covering all parts of Scotland, all ages and all sectors of society. I’m looking forward to visiting schools taking part this week and getting involved in the celebrations.”
Excellence and equity in maths and numeracy attainment is central to the Scottish Government’s ambition for continuous improvement in education and to close the poverty-related attainment gap.
· The Bletchley Park Education team visiting all secondary schools in Angus to explore maths and code breaking during the Week.
· Maths ‘magician’ Kjartan Poskitt performing in primary schools in Wick, Thurso, Shetland and Orkney (as well as Orkney Library and Orkney Science Festival).
· Maths performer Andrew Jeffrey performing in secondary schools in Perth, Pitlochry, Kingussie and Inverness.
· An event for S5 girls in Edinburgh on the importance of maths from Heriot Watt and Edinburgh Universities and the International Centre for Mathematical Studies.
· A Maths Circle for children, families and young people at Edinburgh University on Saturday 15 September.
· The UK Mathematical Trust 2-day maths event for secondary pupils in partnership with Strathclyde University.
· The Strathclyde Science Scouts will be visiting schools during the week for maths games and adventures.
· The University of Glasgow have created a day of maths activities and talks activities for s3-6 pupils to attend.
· Learning Links and Heather Reid will present to adult education practitioners at Glasgow Science Centre on exploring climate change using numbers and maths.
· Heriot Watt University are holding a session on the Maths of Social Media for higher and advanced higher pupils.
· The West Partnership are holding a numeracy and maths all-day staff conference to launch Maths Week on Saturday 8 September. It’s fully booked.
· University of Edinburgh are hosting an evening event for maths teachers with a range of speakers including Scottish Teacher of the Year 2018 Chris Smith and the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP.
· St Andrews University are giving lectures in 3 local schools and will also be hosting a viewing of their special collection of ancient mathematical texts and pairing this with a lecture.
· Dr Emily Grossman, an expert in molecular biology and genetics, will visit Grange Academy in Kilmarnock to inspire a group of S3 students about the exciting opportunities for young people (and especially girls) following careers in Maths and Science.
· The National Museum have built maths into their solar and wind power workshop for p5-7 pupils and created an associated maths resource for teachers.
The post Numbers add up as Maths Week kicks off with hundreds of events appeared first on Engage for Education.
Last week Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Shirley-Anne Somerville visited CodeClan, the UK’s first accredited digital skills academy.
Claire Smith, a graduate of CodeClan’s 16-week software development course, writes about her experiences as a career changer moving into the digital sector.
“After University I was lucky enough to get work in an industry that was relevant to my degree, Japanese Studies. However it didn’t pan out for several reasons. I found myself at a loss as to what to do next, and spent my free time working with a local Food Waste charity. Through this charity’s need to digitise their logistics I became involved in developing an app.
“From there, it was a natural process of wanting to push my skills further so I applied for CodeClan, although this involved some big risks that I had to consider, including money, time commitment and the big question of whether I would be able to get a job after doing the course. But I weighed it up and it seemed worth it.
“CodeClan is a 16-week intensive course covering the basics of web development. One thing I knew from the start was that it would not be a spoon-feeding course where your graduation present is a job. It involves your full commitment and pushing your learning further outside of class hours. However, the support of my instructors and teamwork with classmates kept me motivated through the course.
“Assignments were handed out daily as well as a mini project to cover each weekend. This led on to group projects, which I loved. The course highlighted that a successful project depends not just on technical knowledge but also learning about Agile methodology and the workflow process. But it’s not all work and no play. I was often in the ping pong room or having a game of Werewolf with other students.
“CodeClan put a lot of time into creating opportunities to meet employers, and it was through this that I got a job as a Backend Developer at Signal where I’ve been working for just over a year.
“As a Backend Developer, I work mostly in PHP, a language that was not covered by CodeClan. But the experience of picking up various languages in just 16 weeks taught me the skills needed to get going with PHP. After a year working in the industry, I look back on the risk I took and I’m glad I was in the position to take it.
“One of the major learning curves I’ve had, and will continue to have, is being comfortable not knowing the answer – and having the curiosity to explore and research until I do. I am also lucky that my curiosity is supported and encouraged by my fellow colleagues. Working in a digital agency like Signal offers plenty of exciting challenges which helps keep me motivated to improve my skills.”
For more information about digital careers in Scotland visit digitalworld.net
Location: Perth College UHI
Date: Tuesday 13 Jun, 2017
The Big Bang Near Me programme plays a vital role in inspiring the UK’s future scientists and engineers at a regional, local and school level. We encourage more people to take these subjects, as well as celebrating young people’s achievements in science and engineering through displaying their STEM projects and letting them talk with engineers and scientists, face to face.
The UK needs many more scientists and engineers and equipping young people with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths is key to their future employability. Students attending a Near Me fair really enjoy themselves too – with nine out of ten rating the event they attended as “good” or “very good”.
Zones will include:
- Food and Drink
- Science and Maths
- Career Zone – Companies to provide careers advise in their sector.
- 15 minute presentation slots available to address small groups of young people.
There will also be a chance to experience a selection of STEM challenges available to schools including the ‘turbo charged’ National Final of the Bloodhound Scotland Rocket Car Challenge and Scottish Big Bang Competition final.
If you would like to attend this event please contact Energy Skills Partnership at email@example.com
After teaching a unit of work on light, I taught a unit of work on sound. Here are the links and resources I used.
Idea for creating a educational programme about sound – quite a nice idea. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7O6aW7yE47bdkZnVENUOFF2T0U
Covers a lot of sound stuff Teachers TV: Primary Science: Sound and Hearing
Bill Nye https://vimeo.com/111148958
BBC Sound Clips http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zgffr82/videos/1
Today the Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, led a roundtable discussion with Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sheila Rowan, about gender inequality in STEM fields.
They were joined at the Scottish Parliament by representatives from across the sector to discuss actions to tackle the issue as part of the ongoing STEM consultation but also to share some of the great examples already in place throughout the country.
Deputy Head Teacher of Woodmill High School, Zoe Thomson, explained how the school is working with Gender Balance Scotland to encourage not just students, but parents and teachers too in tackling stereotyping in subject choice and career pathways.
“The first step we took to a cultural shift was to put gender balance onto the remit of a Deputy Head Teacher, this allows gender balance to form part of the whole school improvement planning process. This is important as it enables us to have an overview of the strategic planning in order to involve partners, track progress and interrogate data.
“At Woodmill we have been lucky enough to be part of Shell’s Girls in Energy project. Last session 7 girls from S4-S6 attended Fife College one afternoon a week to look at the work undertaken in the energy industries. The girls took part in industrial visits and met with other students and apprentices, they also earned a National 5 skills for work unit for taking part. The partnership with Shell and Fife College has been crucial in the success of this project providing the students with a taste of “college life” and the opportunity to meet female engineers.
“One of our students from an earlier session has successfully secured an apprenticeship at Leonardo (formerly SELEX). Olivia was supported by members of Equate Scotland during her application and interview process which really helped her confidence and provided additional support we couldn’t offer within school. Another of our former students who took part in an earlier session has gone on to study Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt. Now both girls are role models for our next cohort leading to 14 girls signing up for the 2016/17 session.
“Feedback from the girls has also been incredibly positive:
“This has shown me engineering is not about getting your hands dirty but more about creative problem solving.” – Sarah M S5
Caitlyn S4 – “I am not sure what I want to do but this has given me more options.”
“I have had more confidence to offer answers without the intimidation of boys.” – Millie S4
“As a school we work hard to create links with partners and Skills Development Scotland has helped us arrange talks from female apprentices. We have found this is more powerful when the speaker is close in age to the audience and also targeting a smaller group of girls rather than an entire year group.
“Girls rarely make their subject choice in isolation so our next challenge is to work on the unconscious bias and misinformation in parents and teachers. Pupils really only know about a small range of careers and we are working with our partners in Early years to begin to broaden these horizons from age three to ensure girls have equal access to STEM opportunities and the benefits they can bring.”
My new headteacher introduced me to Onenote and after having a look at it, I realised that it would be a good way to collate resources for different subjects and topics in school.
In a few months I’ve built up lots of pages of links with brief descriptions of what the link is.
I’m going to share these resources I’ve collated and used on my blog space here.
I hope you find them useful.
I’m going to start with some links I used for our science topic on Light.
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/79356632627 Reversing arrow experiment
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/52798138998 Optical cloaking
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/60505868597 Can you trust your eyes?
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-animals-see-in-the-dark-color-ted-ed How do animals see (and humans for that matter)
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-glasses-help-us-see-ted-ed Human eyes and glasses.
http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-your-eyes-see-color-physics-girl How do your eyes see colour?
http://www.color-blindness.com/color-blindness-tests/ Colour vision tests