An update on our major projects

Major Projects usually involve donations in excess of £10,000 pa and are aimed at supporting developments in the teaching of Mathematics to young people.  These projects are closely followed by the Trustees and one Trustee is nominated to report on progress at each Trustee meeting.

Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses

The Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses introduce students to aspects or applications of mathematics which are not usually covered in the school curriculum, such as cryptography, mazes or the relevance of geometry in fashion. They are designed to counteract widespread negative attitudes towards mathematics among young people and contribute to a long-term shift in attitudes towards Mathematics.

CACT has sponsored the Masterclass programmes in London for Years 10, 11 and 12 age groups for three years and has recently agreed to renew this support by donating £30,000 pa for a further three years from Sept 2018.

Geoffrey Heywood Awards

The Trust is providing financial assistance to enable staff of certain selected schools which specialise in Mathematics to extend their outreach work to other secondary schools in their area. CACT is now supporting three schools under this award scheme, two of which are specialist sixth form Maths schools.

This project was named the Geoffrey Heywood Award to commemorate the Founding Master of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries, who left a substantial legacy to the Charitable Trust on his death in 2013.

Royal Society Partnership Grants Scheme

Since it started in 2000, the Partnership Grants Scheme has awarded over £1.3m to over 800 schools and colleges, igniting enthusiasm for STEM in thousands of young people across the UK.

The Trust has for the first time in 2019 supported three schools under this scheme who are running maths focussed projects as follows:

  • Comberton Village College – a secondary school based in Cambridgeshire
    • Project title: “How can I turn plastic waste into useful construction material using Eco bricks?”
    • Maths Focus: The project is being run in the school’s eco-maths club. As part of the project students will “need to carry out calculation of volume and space, use ratios for models, take real life measurements and agree on quantities of materials”
  • North Cambridge Academy – secondary school in Cambridge.
    • Project title: “Digital Brains: can we understand how computers think and analyse Big Data?”
    • Maths Focus: Although a computing project there will be maths in the analysis of data. During the project “The STEM partners would then assist the students in performing statistical analysis of the data, introducing concepts such as mean, standard deviation and outliers. Extension activities would involve exploring correlations, for example, between heart rate and physical activity, or resting heart rate to days of exercise per week.”
  • Rhydypenau Primary School – Cardiff.
    • Project title: “Where does all the rain water go?”
    • Maths Focus: As part of their project there will be “an exercise to collect rain gauge data over 12 weeks and understand how much run off is produced over 2 sample areas in the school grounds. The investigation will look to interpret rain gauge data and use mathematical equations to calculate run off.”

Alan Smith, Chairman

September 2019