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Woman into Engineering and girls' mathematics day at Bath University

Year 9 students were inspired as they took part in Dyson's Women into Engineering event last week.

On Friday Mrs Brownell accompanied five of our female Year 9 students (opting for GCSE DT) to Dyson HQ in Malmesbury for a Women into Engineering event.

This was a fantastic opportunity for our girls to work with girls from other Dyson partner schools and Dyson design engineers, in the incredible setting of the Dyson Lightning café.

Mr Pridham, Design Technology Curriculum Team Leader

Year 10 Girls Post-16 Mathematics Day at Bath University

Mrs Stephens and Miss Pratt accompanied 19 year 10 girls to Bath University in May to find out how taking A level mathematics supports a range of fields of study. The girls experienced a university lecture hall with talks from a variety of speakers. Emily Stevens who is completing a PhD in Biology trying to find the genes that determine the toxicity of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) through mathematical analysis and modelling; Dr Theresa Smith, a lecturer in Maths who demonstrated how linear functions combined with statistics has been used to identify if crime increases with the number of bars in a town; Kathryn Proctor who is doing her PhD in Chemistry on the impact of pharmaceuticals that end up in the environment and Dr Michelle St Clair who lectures in Psychology, who shared with us how her study into the long term effects of children with specific language difficulties at the age of seven using maths, provided unexpected findings.

These facinating talks were followed by the girls having a quick introduction to ciphers by Ben Sparks.  They then explored the campus in groups by completing a treasure hunt that required them to decipher clues. There are some potential GCHQ members in the group who demonstrated some excellent knowledge and team work to decipher the clues. 

After lunch by the lake there was a workshop on trees and bubbles, which was led by Avril Steele.  This provided the girls with an insight into decision maths, where they were able to use algorithms to calculate shortest routes and demonstrated how bubbles will look to use the least energy and formed the same paths as the girls had discovered using Pythagoras’ Theorem.

To finish we regrouped and prizes were awarded to the winners of the treasure hunt, which was a tie between three groups, one of which was from Ralph Allen; Deeva Dewey, Eleanor Hawkins, Lucia Lobo Fernandez and Lily Taylor-Philips who won some goodie bags. Before we left a recount was made and we had a second team who also were tied and almost won outright; Jasmine Lowe, Ellie Dorman, Lily Jenkins, Ella Pears and Lydia Forty. Well done girls.

It was a really fun day and a great opportunity to discuss how studying maths is not just to become a mathematician, but a valuable set of skills that is valued in almost all future careers. To continue to build on this valuable day it would be really useful for all teachers and parents to discuss how they use maths in what they do, from simple counting and ordering to complex algorithms in programming.

I would like to thank the girls for fully engaging in the day and representing the school with their good manners and enthusiasm.

Mrs Stephens, Teacher of Mathematics