MATHS teacher Lauren Reynolds is sharing her winning formula that maths equals fun with the whole of Bolton.
Miss Reynolds, a teacher at Bolton School, has been given £7,430 to go out into the community and work with secondary school children to get them interested in maths.
She was one of just 11 teachers nationally to be picked from hundreds to win the Let Teachers SHINE competition, which is run by the charity SHINE — Support and Help in Education — to develop her ideas to raise young people’s academic attainment.
This time next year nine pupils from across the borough will take part in the Spread Your Wings project to inspire children about the subject.
It is being aimed at Year Nine pupils so they develop a love for the subject before the pressures of GCSEs kick in.
The project is designed to make maths “relevant”, for example applying Newton’s Law of Cooling to the American TV police and forensic show, CSI, working out the time of death of a body. It should excite youngsters about the subject, leading to an “aha” moment.
Miss Reynolds said it was these techniques which “hook” students when they work out problems using maths.
If the local pilot scheme is successful, it could be used across the country. Miss Reynolds said: “My project is called ‘Spread Your Wings’.
“The main factor that makes this an innovative project is that it is designed to take the students ‘off curriculum’ and to experience maths from a different angle, with the hope of changing their impression of maths and seeing its importance in real life.
“The project will run over 10 weeks in the summer term next year.”
She added: “The content will focus on a strand of mathematics called Decision Mathematics.
“Decision Mathematics is a beautiful strand that looks at constrained optimisation. We will look at the bin packing problem, the mathematics in SatNavs, and Critical Path analysis.
“The Decision course offers the possibility of a greater focus on modelling.
“Its applicability is self-evident and I envisage setting up projects where students find their own applications of the techniques, where they learn to spread their wings.”
Paul Carbury, chief executive of The SHINE Trust said: “The contest saw a fantastic range of ideas which will help to transform learning for students who need it most.”