Sixth Form students take on the Y5 Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses

The Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses, a series of hands-on interactive sessions aimed at opening children’s eyes to the excitement of mathematics, have been taking place at St Helen’s over the course of the last few weeks involving primary schools from our local community as well as our own Prep School.

Having been trained by professors from the RI, it was the turn of our Sixth Form students to deliver four workshops, each with a different theme to Y5 pupils. The second masterclass focused on ‘nets’ and the girls had a great time learning more about the topic and using 20 square-based pyramids they each constructed icosahedrons.

‘Building bridges’ was the next topic and the girls were asked to look at different types of bridges and analyse some of the most famous bridges in the world. Working in groups, they were set the challenge to construct their own 3D version and each bridge was then tested to see which could support the greatest weight. Congratulations to the team from Priestmead Primary School who built the most well constructed bridge – it was great fun and the girls valued interacting with the Sixth Form students and learning new skills.

The masterclass explored the world of ‘circles’. The pupils learnt all about Pi using string, circles and a calculator and were delighted to be set a maths quiz by the Sixth Formers as they got into teams and combined relay racing and answered quick-fire maths questions. There was great excitement and it was an incredibly closely fought contest.

The girls left the workshops buzzing and eager to see each other for the final workshop which takes place in a couple of weeks. One parent commented, “You would think coming to school on a Saturday would be boring, but it’s really been such incredible fun!”. Thank you to our wonderfully supportive parents and staff and in particular our Sixth Formers who have so generously committed to delivering such inspiring and exciting sessions.