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Maths Week Scotland 2020 Programme

22nd September 2020

Maths Week Scotland 28 September – 4 October 2020

Maths Week Scotland has launched an exciting programme of activities across the country for this year’s fourth annual event, taking place from 28 September to 4 October 2020. Maths Week Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s drive to encourage positive attitudes to numeracy and maths and is developed and delivered by National Museums Scotland.

Maths is everywhere around us and Maths Week Scotland celebrates and promotes that in collaboration with schools, universities and communities. Outdoor events and online sessions for schools and teachers aim to demonstrate the ways that maths connects all parts of life, delivering fun and intriguing activities for all age ranges to take on.

Maths Week Scotland is supported by celebrities such as Olympian and Maths graduate, Eilish McColgan; mathematics professor and broadcaster Hannah Fry; author Marcus de Sautoy and comic illustrator Rossie Stone.

Taking maths outside not only enhances active learning but is a great way to enliven young minds coming back into the school routine after many months of lockdown. Outdoor activity programmes will reveal the way pattern and numbers work in nature, for example, and provide practical activities that go beyond the classroom. Skills Academy Scotland has created outdoor maths packs for over 170 primary schools in the Highlands region and the Maths Week Scotland Small Grants Fund, a partnership between the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust and the Scottish Government, has supported over 100 local activities across the country encouraging innovation and participation.

Funded activities include orienteering and escape room activities, labyrinth design and activity trails to weather stations and even a digging and discovery programme for nursery children. The range of activities highlights how maths is an everyday activity, and central to enjoyment of games, sport, art and design.

Key online events include:

  • Mathematician Marcus de Sautoy, whose book The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI, explores the possibilities of creating art through algorithms will give a public lecture on 28 September
  • Hannah Fry, Matt Parker, Zoe Griffiths and Rob Eastaway present Maths Inspiration online on 29 September. Scottish school places are free with funding from Maths Week Scotland and the University of Edinburgh.
  • Scottish illustrator and artist Rossie Stone heads a week of online workshops for the Scottish Book Trust about numeracy and comic book design.

Other online workshops and materials are also coming from the Open University, Heriot Watt University, Royal Statistical Society, University of Edinburgh  and Scottish Maritime Museum, while STEM Ambassadors Scotland have been supporting STEM Ambassadors and teachers to take part in virtual classroom sessions during Maths Week. The Scottish Mathematical Council have created seven maths puzzles which the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, will issue across Maths Week Scotland for everyone to connect with, and with accompanying videos from BBC Learning Scotland setting out how to tackle them.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Maths Week Scotland is always an exciting and engaging feature of the education calendar and I am pleased to see this year’s focus will be on outdoor activity, digital events, health and wellbeing and family learning to reflect the current circumstances.

“This year’s diverse programme is packed with fun and fascinating ways to explore and appreciate the maths around us and I look forward to joining all those across the country celebrating maths.”

Katie Oldfield, Maths Week Scotland co-ordinator, said: “Like everyone else, we have had to adapt our plans this year, but we have a full and exciting programme for Maths Week Scotland. There is a myriad of ways in which maths is important in a whole range of fields. Outdoor maths in particular is a great way to get pupils thinking about the subject in different ways and hopefully continue to enjoy maths and explore its possibilities throughout the entire year.”

As well as a focus week of diverse and fun maths-related events and activity, there is a supporting year-round programme for schools, families, adults and community groups. It is part of an ongoing drive to transform Scotland into a maths-positive nation through raising the profile of maths and encouraging enthusiasm for maths across Scotland.

National Museums Scotland is working with a wide range of organisations and collaborators to support and deliver Maths Week Scotland activity across Scotland. For a full list of contributors and to view the whole programme, visit: www.mathsweek.scot

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Notes to editors

  • National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  • Twitter: @MathsWeekScot  #MathsWeekScot

Website: www.mathsweek.scot

  • The 2016 Making Maths Count report can be found here https://www.gov.scot/publications/transforming-scotland-maths-positive-nation-final-report-making-maths-count/
  • Maths Week Scotland emerged from recommendations within Making Maths Count and introduces commitments to transform public attitudes to maths; improve confidence and fluency in maths for children, young people, parents and all those who deliver maths education to raise attainment and achievement across learning; and promote the value of maths as an essential skill for every career.  The report was published in September 2016 and reflects the work of an independent Group set up by the Scottish Government to advise Scottish Ministers on actions required to address concerns about maths education in Scotland.
  • Bheireadh Oifis nam Meadhanan eadar-theangachadh Gàidhlig den bhrath-naidheachd seachad do bhuidhinn mheadhanan bharantaichte. Cuiribh fios do dh’Oifis nam Meadhanan airson bruidhinn air cinn-latha freagarrach.