GeoSLAM providing inspiration in maths

Rachel Reynolds

GeoSLAM was invited to set a maths business challenge for Year 8 students to support one of the strategic priorities for South Wolds Academy, part of the East Midlands Education Trust, to ‘To provide a relevant, attractive curriculum that meets the needs of all learners with outstanding teaching that is highly effective in inspiring students and ensures that they learn exceptionally well’. 

The teacher brief for the project involving year 8 mathematics involved, ‘… conversions. This could be between currencies, units of measurement etc’ and the ideal outcome as, ‘students understand the real life value of this topic … new resources for the topic … group work and/or investigation to promote independence … stretch and challenge for higher end students as well as understanding for lower end’.  

GeoSLAM set two questions connected with real projects – one involving measurements in a deep mine in Germany and the other a large-scale office development in Hong Kong. Students were required to work in groups and show their calculations.  

A whole year group assembly provided an opportunity for two senior managers to provide feedback and awards, also promoting their need for engineers and the day-to-day value of maths. 

Benefits for the Students

‘I’m very proud of people acknowledging what we’ve done in school. Instead of people that you know, it’s people coming out and showing you how it should be done’ - ‘I think it would be interesting to work with real figures and see what goes on in the real world’ - ‘I does make me feel quite confident, especially because I wasn’t too confident with maths before’  - ‘I feel I know a bit more about figures and maths in general and what it’s used for in jobs’# - ‘I might consider engineering a bit more now’ - ‘It provides me with a look into what maths would do in real life, rather than just equations and things we get given in lessons’ 

Benefits for the Employer 

This project was one of two supported by GeoSLAM as part of the regional, ESF-funded programme. The other involved another school and an English challenge. The company has a strong commitment to community engagement and these projects illustrated how they could have an impact on whole year groups of students and core academic subjects. - South Wolds Academy is located a few miles away from the GeoSLAM’s national on the South of Nottingham, creating a natural link for future projects 

Benefits for the School 

‘This looks fab thanks! Yes, it would be great to have working out as a tie breaker as we always want the students to do that. Points could be given for clarity and understanding in their working’ - ‘We appreciate the time you have taken to write, mark and analyse the maths questions. My students were really excited to be involved in the project'.