On January 24th a few girls from Year 10 attended a trip to Hampshire Collegiate School (Embley Park) to take part in a day set up by the further mathematics support programme to celebrate women in maths. The event was aimed at girls who are considering a-level maths and further maths in the future. The day consisted of three workshops titled: ‘outbreak’, ‘bubbles’ and ‘It’s a disaster’.
The first session, ‘outbreak’, was presented by Professor Christl Donnelly who is a statistician and epidemiologist at Imperial College London. She worked on the statistical analysis of epidemics such as Ebola and SARS. Professor Donnelly discussed how maths can be used in crucial situations to predict epidemic patterns and to save lives though disease control.
The second workshop, ‘bubbles’, set out challenges to link trees, towns and bubbles. Through an exploration of a further maths module participants were guided to problem solve in groups to independently discover the connections. The workshop ended with a demonstration of how the shape of bubbles supported the maths that had been calculated.
The final workshop called ‘it’s a disaster’ set out tasks to set up response for victims of the 2010 Chilean crisis. Maths was used to calculate the amount of food, water and shelters were needed to help all the people effected and what the most effective way to get all supplies to were they needed to be was.
This event marked not only a celebration of women in maths but also a way to inspire a new generation of mathematicians and pioneers for both women and maths. It opened the eyes of many attending to the opportunities that maths can provide and showed them how to unlock those opportunities in the future.