Pupils from across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have completed the Maths Masterclass series, which used YouTube star, Andy Murray and The Simpsons to teach maths lessons.

Organised by STEM charity TechFest in partnership with The Royal Institution (RI), the series of eight workshops aimed to inspire the next generation of problem solvers.

The 45 young people, who were drawn from S2 classes at 11 schools across the region, received an insight into how mathematics can be applied and used outside the classroom.

Completing the series of Maths Masterclasses means the pupils have earned their CREST Discovery Awards.

They were presented with the award after the final class took place at RGU on Saturday (March 25).

Over the past eight weeks the pupils have learned from Dr Tom Crawford, also known as Tom Rocks Maths to his 125,000 social media followers, whose online videos include stripping off to explain complex maths equations and sitting an A-level maths exam without studying!

The young people also heard from experts covering topics such as how to predict the likelihood of Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu winning a tennis match and how maths is used in cult TV cartoon The Simpsons.

Feedback from the pupils was overwhelmingly positive.

One of the pupils who attended the Maths Masterclass sessions said, “My favourite part of the Masterclasses was learning new Mathematical secrets, being able to socialise and have fun whist learning at the same time.”

Saturday’s final Maths Masterclass was presented by Amy Hooker, the Secondary School Masterclass Lead from the Royal Institution in London and focused on Sierpiński Triangles, a beautiful mathematical shape which appears in some surprising places.

During Amy’s Maths Masterclass, the young people learnt about Sierpiński’s triangle.

Sierpiński triangles are made up of multiple triangles inside of one triangle. Self-similar shapes are repeated in different sizes in a never-ending feedback loop, creating a fractal.

The pupils created the shape in different ways and investigated its properties.

The session provided a chance to see how simple rules can lead to amazing outcomes. It also allowed the young mathematicians to explore a different way of counting dimensions.

Yashka Smith, STEM Lead at TechFest said: “The Maths Masterclasses were sponsored by Serica Energy, and we are delighted to have had their support.

“It has allowed us to deliver an incredibly interesting series of maths-based sessions to young people from across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The sessions have been a great success and covered a wide range of topics including coding, tennis, the energy transition, and space!

“The series has provided a fantastic opportunity to show the application of maths in real life and the young people who have attended the sessions have been really engaged.

“We’re pleased to have been able to present CREST Discovery awards to so many young people, it’s fantastic that they have not only enjoyed the workshops but also now have an award as recognition of their interest in mathematics.”

Chris Kay of Serica Energy’s Charity and Education Committee said, “The success of Techfest’s incredibly creative Maths Masterclasses is inspiring for Serica as it pulls together many of our goals as a Company; contributing to our local communities, encouraging people to be all they can be and developing young minds for future career success.

“Our congratulations to Techfest and great thanks for the opportunity to meet some of the participants and get involved.”

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.

For more information on TechFest, visit www.techfest.org.uk

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