30 June 2010

Calculating drug dosages, designing a traffic roundabout and predicting the strength and safety of a vehicle structure are some of the practical examples of how maths can be applied in the workplace that Northamptonshire students will be finding out more about tomorrow (THURS).

Over 40 secondary school students will take part in workshops delivered by local businesses including Nissan, MGWSP (Transport Planning), Northampton General Hospital, National Grid and Anglia Water,

The year 10 students will get the opportunity to tackle mathematical problems in a wide variety of contexts – mathematics that the organisations taking part in the workshops use every day. They will gain a greater understanding of the role of mathematics in the workplace.

The conference was originally conceived as a way of engaging students with mathematics in a realistic context and so encourage them to consider studying a course related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics post 16 and then at University.

Two of the findings from the recently published CBI Education and Skills Survey 2010 (Ready to Grow: Business Priorities for Education and Skills) are:

  1. Action is needed now to increase the numbers of young people studying STEM subjects – businesses’ two main calls on government are to promote science and maths in schools (69%) and protect funding for STEM at university level (52%)
  2. Business recognises it has a role to play – the top two things employers can do are to provide high quality work experience (71%) and engage with schools to make science and maths exciting (67%).

The conference has been arranged by Northamptonshire County Council, the Further Mathematics Support Programme, the University of Northampton and the local STEM Co-ordinator.

The schools taking part in the conference are The Duston School, Campion School, Lodge Park TC and Rushden Community College.