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Rooks Heath College

Rooks Heath College

Opportunity through Learning

Royal Institution

Masterclasses for the Masters of Maths!

Mrs Syed and two students from Rooks Heath, Banusanth and Vinooja went  to The Royal Institution of Great Britain in London, also known as RI, to take part in a Mathematics Masterclass Day.  It was a busy day with masterclasses, lectures and puzzles, giving students the opportunity to investigate many fascinating mathematical topics and tricks. There was a museum with equipment originally used by great scientists and a library with handwritten books by famous scientists, which were more than 300 years old!

The students invited were either UKMT Best in School Winners or masterclass students. The students and teachers who participated in this interesting event came from all over Britain, there were students from Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge etc.

 The whole day was divided into three lectures, each with its own story. The first lecture was held by Professor Alan Davies, who reconstructed a variety of the experiments which were first shown in the RI lecture theatre. This lecture theatre is the oldest lecture theatre in the world still in use! Professor Alan Davies demonstrated experiments first performed by famous scientists such as Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday and John Tyndall.

 

The second lecture was held by Andrew Fiztharris, who showed the students how they used mathematical techniques to crack most codes and ciphers and the participants even had the opportunity to crack a code by themselves!

In the final lecture, held by Dr Colin Wright, he demonstrated a selection of the patterns and skills of juggling while at the same time developing a simple method of describing  juggling patterns. This was the lecture we enjoyed the most because of his comical way of speaking.  If you want to break a world record in juggling, his advice is “the world record of  juggling  things at the same time is held by someone who juggled 3 saws, Yes, I know what you’re thinking… I hate him too!  However, if you ever want to break a world record you would have to juggle at least 4 saws at the same time for longer than 3 minutes. Whatever you do, please don’t try this at home… Do it at school instead, they’ve got more insurance!”

It was a fantastic experience and an unforgettable day!

By Vinooja