On Wednesday, I accompanied seven Year 9 students to the annual “Girls’ Mathematical Conference”, held at the University of Oxford. The day consisted of a series of talks and workshops designed to get them thinking about studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A-Level. Below is our collaborative journal of the day.
Stephen O’Keeffe – Teacher of Mathematics
Stephen @ 9:45am: We’ve just arrived at the Andrew Wiles building and registered. The warm up activity for the day is some Su-Doku puzzles to solve while the other schools arrive. We’ve all been given sticky labels to write our names on and I’m in a slight quandry as to whether I should write “Stephen” on my name sticker or opt for the more formal (and slightly more alien) “Mr O’Keeffe”, since we are around other schools. I go for the former. At 10am is our first activity: “F1 Vector Racing”
Emily and Emmie @ 10:35am: We are very pleased, as we have just completed a race using vectors (as a brilliant and victorious team!). We shall never forget this moment of glory (despite our accidental simplification of the task at hand). We will reign the throne of vector glory for evermore. Now we will complete another thrilling and addictive Su-Doku.
Laura and Tabby @ 12:51pm: Our group is now having lunch after coming out of a workshop on building bridges. It was interesting and quite complicated at times, as it involved lots of new concepts like calculating how many steel rods you need to reinforce a bridge of certain measurements. We also found about a dog who died when a bridge collapsed and it made us very sad #RIPTubbyTheDog. Right now, many are frantically trying to crack the hard Su-Doku from earlier.
Agnes @ 2:10pm: We are now drinking our second Capri-Sun of the day and STILL struggling with the Su-Doku and losing our minds. We’ve spent the last hour persevering through some difficult problems involving space-themed calculations, working out different football scores using logic and doing some jigsaw-type puzzles too. It really wears you out, but we had a good time though. Emily has just ripped up her Su-Doku in frustration #StillSeekingJusticeForTubby.
Ksenia and Amelia @ 15:43pm: We’ve just finished a helicopter activity where we put ourselves in the shoes of a statistical engineer. This was very interesting and made us think about similar practicals we have done in school. The final activity of the day is a talk about all the different careers that you can do if you have A-Level Maths or Further Maths, which is very inspiring. We miss you, Tubby!