Dr. James Hind from Nottingham Trent University has submitted the following interim report on his project.
The students have completed their initial investigations into their mathematical topics. They have also presented their progress to staff and students (in excellent fashion; one scoring 75% and the other 75%). They have begun School visits and are working with the teachers to build their knowledge into workable lesson plans suitable for the the different age groups that they will be working with. Each student has paired with a specific maths teacher who has an interest in their particular topic (fractals and cryptography). The recent promotion of one of the project partners from head of Maths to Deputy Head of the school has allowed another maths teacher (Maddy Bayes) to become involved in the project and cemented the schools support for the project amongst the senior management. The date has been set for the School children to visit and an itinerary has been developed which involves campus tours, talks, question and answer sessions as well as the actual lessons. Three member of teaching staff, including the program leader, are giving their time and energies to meeting with the groups on the day and will discuss Maths, higher education and careers with them.
In order to improve my understanding of and involvement with the outreach community I have so far attended several workshops, meetings and summits relating to Maths higher education and outreach. This has led to my submitting further proposals and working jointly with other members of staff within my institution to assist in other projects where input from the maths department might be helpful. I am already better able to act as a first point of contact for the department in this area and have been working closely with our admissions and outreach teams to revitalise our approach. This has led to us adopting some of the ‘maths in a box’ resources and approaches in order to run maths events for visiting schools. The first of these has been booked already and we it will be the first of many.