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MA30241: Communicating maths

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Mathematical Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: All students taking this unit will be required to have an up-to-date CRB check.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To teach communication skills in mathematics and to practice these in a hands on environment involving science fairs, masterclasses etc.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the unit the students will:
(i) Have learned methods for communicating mathematics through running exhibitions, delivering masterclasses and other hands on activities.
(ii) Have learned how to critically evaluate their work using a variety of techniques
(iii) Have learned how to carefully communicate mathematical idea to a group of young people
(iv) Have produced a permanent piece of work describing a mathematical topic in a medium that they specify.
(v) Have learned basic ideas of child protection and health and safety when communicating in a hands on environment
(vi) Have had the experience of working with professional communicators and teachers.

Written, graphic and spoken communication T/F, A
Problem solving T/F, A
Team work T/F
Project management T/F, A
Critical evaluation (project and self) T/F, A

The students will receive training on:
1. Child Protection/Health and Safety: One extended lecture
2. Preparing an exhibit for a science fair: One lecture and two practice sessions
3. Critical evaluation skills: One lecture
4. Preparing a schools level masterclass: One extended lecture (followed by an observation of a masterclass).
The training will not count directly towards the assessment, but the students will be expected to use the training in the production and evaluation of their activities.
(A) The students will work (typically in teams) to deliver and evaluate
A. An exhibition during the Bath Taps Into Science Festival which will demonstrate a key STEM idea to a family audience
B. A mathematics masterclass for KS3 students (preceded by an observation of a masterclass which they should also evaluate)
C. A hands-on STEM activity taken from a list of options such as: delivering a lesson at a school (primary or secondary), taking part in the Big Bang Fair, working as a maths journalist, taking part in a maths theatre event, maths busking etc.
Each of these activities will count for 25% of the overall mark.
The mark for each activity will be a combination of an assessed 10 side piece of work presented individually by each student in a portfolio (counting for 80% of the activity mark) together with a mark from an assessor of the activity as it happened in context (counting 20%). The 80% assessment of the portfolio will be guided by a careful written explanation of what is expected (made available to the students at the start o the course) and will be based on (i) the design and planning of the activity (ii) the presentation of the activity, (iii) the educational merit of the activity including the successful accomplishment of the planned learning outcomes for the STEM material and (iv) the care of the self-assessment of the activity. The 20% context mark will be based primarily on an evaluation by an external reviewer (this could be the unit leader, but it could also be a teacher) on the success of the activity in achieving its stated objectives.
(B) Each student will also create a permanent piece of work on a mathematical theme, in the medium of their choice, to an audience of their choice. (For example this could be a newspaper article, a web-site or a poster) This will count for 25% of the final mark. This mark will be given on (i) the presentation of the material (ii) the effectiveness of the work in conveying the mathematical idea to its intended audience.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

MA30241 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • USMA-AFB15 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB16 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Mathematical Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AFB13 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB14 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB14 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AFM14 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AFM14 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics (Year 4)
  • USMA-AAM15 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKM15 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKM15 : MMath(Hons) Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • USMA-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Statistics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Statistics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Statistics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USMA-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Statistics (Year 3)
  • USMA-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Statistics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USMA-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Statistics with Year long work placement (Year 4)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.