Discover Robo Maths is a two year engineering project delivered in partnership with UTC (University Technical College) Leeds. The aim of the project is to raise the attainment of year 10 maths students by teaching maths through applied learning.
Orla Gilson, a PhD student studying Medical Robotics, delivered an interactive programme with 18 students from year 10 teaching maths through applied learning. Students worked in small groups to design and build their own robotic buggies with the ability to perform set tasks. This involved learning the mathematical equations that calculate speed, velocity, distance, time and acceleration as part of the process.
Working closely with David Hayter, Head of Maths at UTC Leeds, students further developed their maths skills with these sessions running parallel to the current maths curriculum being taught.
In February 2019 students were invited to visit the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds to test their buggies around a bespoke track. After studying the electronics needed in the laboratory, students had the opportunity to meet academics and lab technicians plus see undergraduate work on display.
The project also developed students’ employability skills including communication, team working and problem solving.
Student Summar Khurshid, aged 15, wants a career in aerospace engineering. She said: “I chose UTC Leeds because I’ve got a big interest in engineering and I can specialise in that subject here as well as taking GCSEs. I really like this project because it’s practical and fun.”
Student Ammor Masud, aged 14, wants a career in computer hardware engineering. He added: “I’m really happy here. I’ve learnt a lot in just a few months. I’m really enjoying this project because it’s relevant to the career that I want to work in.”
Alex Burnham, Principal of UTC Leeds, said: “Our fantastic partnership with the University of Leeds also gives our students a competitive edge when they are applying for apprenticeships, jobs and university places.”
Steve Gleadall, STEM Outreach Manager at the University of Leeds, said: “Discover Robo Maths is a great opportunity for us to introduce UTC students to some of the methods of learning and skills needed when studying engineering at university such as researching, problem solving, and presenting results. It has allowed the students to apply their mathematical knowledge to a real-world challenge and it will enrich their understanding of maths in an engineering context.”
UTC Leeds is a technical school that specialises in advanced engineering and manufacturing and is sponsored by leading employers and the University of Leeds and Leeds Chamber of Commerce.
The University of Leeds will continue to work closely with UTC in the near future. Watch this space!
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