Last month 5 Year 12 students went to the Centre for Mathematical Studies at the University of Cambridge to do workshops on different skills useful in maths, particularly at University level. We started with a talk on additional tests like STEP and MAT that are required to get onto mathematical courses at some of the top universities in the country. This was followed by an example lecture on spherical and hyperbolic geometry (where the angles in a triangle don’t add up to 180 degrees and what constitutes a straight line in each of these systems) given by one of the lecturers at the University.
We then had three workshops. One was about writing solutions to answers to best show what you have interpreted from the question. We then had ‘Fun Maths’: a workshop with several problem-solving tasks to complete in pairs. We worked with A level students from several other schools to try to find the solutions to these. We ended with a workshop on how to answer STEP problems, including working on some old exam questions. Finally we were given a paper with example MAT questions to work through, using the skills we had developed throughout the day.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience working with other able mathematicians and being taught by lecturers and helped us see the route through to university maths whilst also helping us with our current studies.