On Saturday 8 June 2019, Dr Simon White (University of Cambridge) and Dr Laura Bonnett (University of Liverpool), ran a workshop at a CPD event for Maths Scholars on behalf of the Royal Statistical Society’s Education and Statistical Literacy Committee.
The full-day event was organised for 39 current and 10 alumni Mathematics Teacher Training Scholars and included three workshops to provide inspiration for potential school classroom activities. It was supported by the Department for Education and sponsored by the Royal Statistical Society, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the London Mathematical Society, Mathematics Education Innovation, Mathematical Association and the National STEM Centre.
The day kicked-off with a foray into reasoning and proof by Dr Audrey Curnock from Education Unlimited and concluded with a guided tour of the NRICH family of resources – the home of rich problem-solving – including classroom resources for secondary and post-16 teachers, courtesy of Dr Ems Lord.
Laura and Simon's workshop took place after lunch, where they showcased their statistical activities. The workshop covered what defines a statistical activity, and how to make activities showcasing statistics both fun and interactive. Initially, participants estimated the amount of penguins in a colony in the Antarctic based on the amount of penguin poo visible on the snow. Then they got to grips with the concept of a simulation study to identify the best starting position and dose for a hypothetical scenario of treating a tumour cell with radiotherapy.
Further details about both activities, and the other six developed by Simon and Laura on behalf of the RSS Education and Statistical Literacy Committee can be found at www.rss.org.uk/hands-on.
Feedback during the event and afterwards via email and on Twitter has been unanimously positive. Simon and Laura are therefore confident that penguins and dice will feature in several classrooms during the coming academic year!