Why get involved in Ri Masterclasses?

The Maths Teacher Training Scholarship scheme works hard to support both scholars on their ITT year and our alumni who range from NQTs through to having been in teaching for five years. We provide a range of practical, classroom focused workshops to help bring inspiring and engaging maths into the classroom. Each year we also run a super visit to showcase maths in the real world and provide suggestions for school trips – it’s not just languages and geography who get field trips!  

Showing the applicability and practicality of maths in everyday life is a key part of encouraging students to engage and carry on studying mathematics in some form for as long as possible. For those students who are keen and talented, the Royal Institution runs a series of hands-on Masterclasses in mathematics, engineering and computer science.  Running across the UK, secondary school Masterclasses are organised by enthusiastic local networks to provide a series of six classes on a Saturday which introduces attendees to the breadth and wonder of mathematics. 

Many of the scholarship scheme workshop providers are already involved in the scheme, including our own project manager, Sophie Carr who runs a session on Bayesian Belief Networks. We talked to Sophie about why it is worth becoming involved in the scheme:

“It’s really easy at the end of a long week to forget what it is that you really enjoy about maths – much of the week has inevitably been taken up with meetings, e-mails and writing.  I really look forward to the Saturday’s when I get to go and spend a couple of hours talking about the subject that sparked my interest in maths and showing people why a topic, they may never have heard of, impacts upon their everyday life. Of course, developing the class took some time, but there is plenty of support from the Ri staff, feedback from your first few session and I forever seem to tweak the content – there is always something new to include!  Getting over my nerves of standing in front of 100 students required a few deep breaths (remember, I’m not a teacher) but I’ve realised everyone loves pointing out if I’ve made a mistake and the questions I get asked are really insightful.”

The Masterclass network is always looking for new local organisers and speakers, so if you’ve been part of our scheme and are looking for new ways to inspire and encourage a love of mathematics, why not consider becoming involved in the scheme?  You can find out more about supporting, organising, or developing your own session by clicking on the links, or get in touch with the Ri Masterclass team at masterclasses@ri.ac.uk  

Sophie Carr – Project Manager