The Maths Department has built on the success of the Senior Maths Challenge with students winning further awards with the Nuffield Foundation.
The Nuffield Foundation offer bursaries for students to work alongside practicing scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Students in their first year can apply for a bursary of £80 a week to support them in a project which takes place in the summer holidays. Students commit to 4-6 weeks to gain valuable experience and insight into research and development.
David Fitzpatrick, Luke Hatcher and Liam Kelsall, who study Maths at the College, went to the Regional Celebration Event at Coventry University. All three successfully completed projects over the summer holiday at Keele University and were given the Gold Crest Awards at the regional event. Luke was given the added recognition of a special commendation, given to only two students from this region.
All three students worked on their own projects but were happy to help each other out. David and Luke’s projects focussed on ‘abstract algebra’ during which they had to devise educational materials for school pupils. Liam’s studies took a more scientific approach, creating a method of analysis of black powder for use on a Forensic Science degree at Keele University.
“It was great to see the students recognised for the effort they put in”, said Jeannine Pilling, one of David and Luke’s maths teachers. “It was a very good experience for them as the demands were high but they were up to the challenge. It was effectively a comprehensive work experience project which will put them in good stead for the future. Such great work experience is difficult for any student to find, and this also has relevance to their chosen careers. We really appreciate the important link that we have with Keele University which has enabled our students to take part in these projects for the last two years.”
“I didn’t mind putting in the hours”, added David. “It will be worth it. I have an interview coming up at Oxford University soon and it will be useful to mention this success during that.”
Liam completed his work at Keele University’s campus. “The project allowed me to do degree level research and give me an insight into what university has to offer me,” he said. “I’m looking to study at Lancaster University when I leave Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College.”
“At times I’d say this project was more tiring than being at College”, added Luke. “But it was worth it. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and hopefully it will help in my Cambridge University interview.”
Richard Stakes, who teaches Liam, was very proud of their achievements. “It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to explore the world of advanced maths in depth which I’m sure will inspire them onto big things in the future.”
Students interested in taking part in next year’s programme will be able to find out more in Maths lessons over the coming weeks.