Twenty six year 11 students attended a GCSE Maths Enrichment Day at Keele University on Friday 21st November with Mr A Hope and Mrs C Tilt. The event was organised by the Further Mathematics Support Programme to help the students achieve the top A and A* grades at GCSE and to give them an insight into further study in maths.

The day started with a short but surprising overview of how studying maths can influence career prospects and earnings. The mathematical activities began with a session on proof led by independent mathematics consultant, Mr J Kelly. The challenging tasks involved analysing mathematical statements and working in groups to decide whether they were sometimes true, always true or never true.

After a short break, the second session on surds was delivered by Mrs C Tilt, Head of Mathematics at Chesterton Community Sports College. A 'mini lecture' reminded students of the basics of surd form and then they used their knowledge to complete a tarsia puzzle working in pairs. The session continued with students learning how to write expressions in the form k√n and how to rationalise expressions containing surds.

Mr R Stakes of Keele University concluded the morning with work on transformations of graphs. Building up from work on transformations of shapes, students were challenged to predict the effect of different transformations on graphs. The use of Geogebra software really brought clarity to this advanced topic and the students made excellent progress.

A short campus tour and lunch in the Mathematics Department were organised by Keele Student Ambassadors, all current Keele maths students who chatted to the pupils about university life. The Ambassadors included Euan, Matt and Rob who are all undergraduate maths students, Jess who is doing a PhD in statistics after a first degree in maths at Keele and Olga, taking a PhD in applied maths after studying in Russia.

The Student Ambassadors helped with the final activity of the day which was a dragon quiz in which teams of students raced against the clock to solve as many mathematical problems as possible and complete the longest dragon.

The day, which was held in the lovely setting of the Keele Sustainability Hub, was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants who appreciated its direct relevance to their GCSE studies.

Photographs of the day can be seen below. Please click on an image to enlarge it.

Mrs C Tilt

Head of Mathematics

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