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Dr George Sankaran with pupils at a previous class
Dr George Sankaran with pupils at a previous class

Press Release - 02 March 2005

Local school children learn to think irrationally

The region’s brightest school children will get the opportunity to test their number crunching skills at a mathematics masterclass to be held at the weekend.

The class ‘Can numbers be irrational?’ is one of the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclass series sponsored by the University of Bath. The classes are free to local 14-year-olds from across the region. Pupils are nominated by their teachers and spend the morning doing a mixture of teaching sessions, team work and competitions.

“The masterclasses are educational and fun”, said Dr Geoff Smith, Chair of Wessex RI Maths Masterclasses. “It’s a great opportunity for the children to meet each other in an informal setting, while exploring some mathematics that’s not on the national curriculum.

“The Swindon classes are always really popular with up to 80 children attending from the region’s state and private schools. On the day local teachers act as tutors so it’s a real community event.”

The class will be held at 10.30am-12.30pm on Saturday 5 March at the University of Bath’s Oakfield campus.

The series is the largest regional maths masterclass organisation in the UK with classes held throughout the spring at university campuses in Swindon, Bath and Bristol. Since launching in 1991 approximately 4000 pupils have passed through the scheme.

The masterclasses are part of the University’s widening participation scheme. The scheme aims to encourage more young people from the region to go into higher education. Alongside its academic classes, the University runs a creative arts week for local children and a student mentoring scheme.

The widening participation scheme is not just for school children - the Division of Lifelong Learning offers an extensive range of evening classes for adults and a programme of free public lectures.