Maths - In the spotlight

6th January 2012 at 00:00

Bringing the subject to life

If, like Kester Brewin (see right), your pupils ask the age-old question "Why are we doing this?", consider these free resources available from the Mathematics Association.

What is it?

The Mathematics Association was the first teachers' subject association to be formed. Set up in 1871, its aim is to support and enhance maths education. Its website contains a number of resources, mostly free. In the "Application of Mathematics" section, there is a range of Word documents that explore industry and the everyday use of maths.

How can it be used?

The website is mostly aimed at sixth-formers, but could be adapted to encourage disaffected pupils and help them see how maths is meaningful to their lives. It could also be used as a handy career-planning resource for students selecting ASA-level options. While the downloads are fact-sheets rather than working documents, they can serve as springboards for practical ideas that can take maths beyond the classroom.


"Sports Measurements" considers how Olympic distances are measured - this could be particularly engaging for BTEC sports students. "Joint Moments and Muscle Forces" explores the force differences in a gymnast's positions - pupils interested in exercise might find this optimises their performance. Meanwhile, "Mathematical Modelling in Gambling" might be one to keep to yourself as a reward for all your hard work.

For all the recommended resources visit

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