Education projects

Take a look at the range of ways Manchester’s universities are helping to increase excitement and engagement in mathematics education in our city-region’s schools and colleges.

Primary school

Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge (7–14 year olds)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire and Teacher CPD.

GMEC logo.

Overall project aim

Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge is an opportunity for pupils and teachers to be inspired by engineers, learn new skills and gain confidence with engineering.

Project summary

GMEC is designed to inspire 7–14 year olds to engage with engineering processes and scenarios using project-based tasks linked to the National Curriculum. Pupils work in schools teams and collaborate with engineering ambassadors from industry to work on themed tasks and a challenge event in March. Teachers receive tailored professional development focused on embedding engineering habits of mind within the curriculum, developing maths skills in context is a key area of focus within the challenges.

Outcomes

The main outcome for this project is to inspire young people to think as engineers through real-world project challenges. The resources and challenges have maths skills embedded.

Secondary school

Alan Turing Cryptography Competition (11–16 year olds)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire.

Overall project aim and outcomes

To inspire high school students about mathematics and its applications to cryptography.

Project summary

If you like breaking codes and solving ciphers then the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition could be for you.

The competition is aimed at secondary school children up to Year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland). You don't need to be a computer whizz or a mathematical genius  you just need to keep your wits about you and be good at solving problems.

The Great Maths Hunt (11–14 year olds)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire and outreach.

Great Maths Hunt logo.

Overall project aim

The aim of the Great Maths Hunt is to foster curiosity and place maths in context in a fun online workshop that showcases the diversity and uses of mathematical research.

Project summary

This online workshop for KS3 takes a look at everyday life and challenges students to answer the question: “Where is the maths?”

Carrying out activities and quizzes that place maths in context, students can discover the hidden mathematical research behind everyday things, find out who mathematicians work with, how they solve problems, and where a career in maths may take them. 

Outcomes

The main outcomes for this project are:

  • to provide a fun activity that links mathematics with everyday life and places it in the context of wider STEM activity;
  • to develop/deepen the understanding of mathematics as a collaborative venture;
  • to introduce the concept of mathematical modelling as a problem-solving tool;
  • to develop the idea that maths is relevant in everyday life.

Find out more about the Great Maths Hunt

Meet a Mathematician (14 year olds – undergraduates)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire and outreach.

A woman talking.

Overall project aim

The main aim is to provide an opportunity for GCSE and A-level students to find out what mathematicians do and what inspires them.

Project summary

What do applied mathematicians do? Meet some of the researchers in the Mathematics of Waves and Materials group and find out about their work. 

This resource features videos and quotes from PhD students and early-career researchers from the Mathematics of Waves and Materials research group at The University of Manchester.

Suitable for KS4/5 and undergraduates considering taking maths further.

Outcomes

The main outcome of the resource is for students to find out about applied mathematics research, what mathematicians do and what motivates them. It also aims to place mathematics research in context.

Taking Maths Further (14–16 year olds)

Main areas of focus for the project

Outreach.

Overall project aim

The main aim is to inform Year 10 students about studying mathematics beyong GCSE.

Project summary

Taking Maths Further is an event for Year 10 students to give them a taste of studying maths post-16 and inform them about A-level Maths and Further Maths as well as career prospects.

Students spend a day at The University of Manchester, doing mathematics, meeting current undergraduate and postgraduate students, and finding out about studying maths post-16.

Outcomes

The main outcomes are to inspire and inform students to consider studying mathematics after GCSE.

Post-16

Python for A-level Mathematics and beyond (16–18 year olds and postgraduates)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire, research, teacher CPD and outreach.

Overall project aim

The overall aim is to encourage more pupils to study maths at university.

Project summary

Since 2014, Mathematics has been the most popular subject at A-level, however, at university level it is one of the least popular subjects. Can the introduction of programming and computational modelling make the subject more popular, relative to real life and fun?

This is a hands-on workshop and will introduce you to the freely available, open-source and general-purpose programming language Python  which is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Python will be used to enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics at A-level and beyond. You don't need any prior knowledge of programming to benefit from this workshop.

The workshop is for pupils and teachers of A-level Mathematics.

Outcomes

The main outcome is to increase the number of people choosing to undertake maths-related courses in the UK.

Maths Mentors (16–18 year olds and undergraduates)

Main areas of focus for the project

Outreach.

Overall project aim

The overall aim is to provide role models and mentors for local sixth form students.

Project summary

Our undergraduates act as mentors to local sixth form students. The undergraduates received training as STEM ambassadors from the Science and Industry Museum. In 2019-20 we worked with students at Trinity High School and Xaverian College.

We ran a 'Meet your Mentors' session at the University with information on studying for a maths degree and a chance to talk to our undergraduates and solve maths puzzles together.

We plan to run the project again in 2021. 

Outcomes

The main outcome of the project is for sixth form students to be better informed about studying maths at university.

Maths Bombe (16–18 year olds)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire.

Overall project aim and outcomes

We want to develop mathematical problem-solving for sixth form students.

Project summary

Maths Bombe is an online competition open to all students in Years 12 and 13 and below (England and Wales), S5 and S6 and below (Scotland) and Years 13 and 14 and below (Northern Ireland). It is, however, primarily aimed at pupils currently studying for their A-level exams.

Every fortnight a new chapter is released online consisting of two mathematical puzzles. The puzzles will be fun and quirky, and you'll need to think fast to solve them.

Mathematical-modelling and problem-solving day (16–18 year olds, undergraduates and postgraduates)

Main areas of focus for the project

Inspire and outreach.

Overall project aim and outcomes

We want to show students how mathematical-modelling and problem-solving can be used to solve real-world problems.

Project summary

This event is aimed at Year 12 students and held in June. Mathematics is used to solve real-world problems from internet security to modelling the stock market.

Our maths modelling day will give you a chance to do some modelling and problem-solving with mathematicians. The day also includes information about the Extended Project Qualification.