Year 10’s Exciting University Visit

Posted on: 22/02/2018

On Friday the 12th of January, a select group of students from Year 10 visited the University of Hertfordshire in Watford. There they engaged in exciting maths activities and got the opportunity to listen to experts in the field of maths talk about their work and its implications and numerous examples in everyday life.

“We arrived at approximately 9:30 a.m., and shortly thereafter, were welcomed and introduced to Mr Kevin Lord. During that session, we were shocked to see how relevant and important maths is in the modern world. The sheer number of careers you could embark on having studied maths was frankly staggering (at that time). The first event had had such an impact, that shortly after, a student in Year 10 told us how he wanted to do Maths after his GCSEs, having been inspired by the very persuasive session.

Mr Mathew Scroggs (studying for a PhD) then kick-started our first workshop. The mathematics of braiding, where had to make a braid using seven threads and an octagon cardboard that was cut on each side. We spent nearly the whole session making our beautiful and multi-coloured braids. Finally, Mr Scroggs explained how he was working on this. He told us how he was trying to find all the different possible ways of making a braid, and trying to spot a pattern. He seemed really excited and passionate about his puzzle and asked us many questions about what we had done with our braids throughout the session.

During lunch, some students went out to explore the vast university campus. They met many interesting people and got the opportunity to explore state-of-the-art facilities based there.

Finally, we were given a lecture about Patterns and Juggling, by Mr Colin Wright. Mr Wright amused us with his juggling skills, sometimes even juggling five balls at a time. Furthermore, he talked about how he works for the Royal Navy and assists them by using maths, and his jobs at various other places including oilrigs. However, what was fascinating was his talk about patterns and how, essentially, nothing really is as it really seems. This interested many, and he even alluded to the fact that a pattern that increases by one every time then suddenly increases at random, can perhaps have a plausible explanation and a pattern.

Overall, it was a fun trip, which the students enjoyed, and we are all looking forward to the next one.”

Written by:

Jakob Dinif and Hasan Al Satar

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