Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Maths Class with a Tripis Made Fun to the Shops; Pupils Enjoy Lessons in the MetroCentre

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Maths Class with a Tripis Made Fun to the Shops; Pupils Enjoy Lessons in the MetroCentre

Article excerpt

SCORES of schoolchildren will be descending on a shopping centre for a maths lesson with a difference.

Top Class's very own Dr Maths is holding a two-day event at the Metro-Centre and is inviting schools from across our region to take part.

Maths in the Malls, which is taking place on January 31 and February 1, aims to show young people how maths is all around them in everyday life.

Classes of children will be given a special map of the centre which they will have to follow and complete a series of mathematical puzzles along the way.

A similar event was held last year and it proved to be a huge success. Dr Maths, aka Steve Humble, also holds big annual events outdoors during the summer.

Last year's event took place along the Quayside and in 2006 he ran "Maths in the City", which saw more than 1,400 children tackling the tricky subject along Newcastle's Northumberland Street.

Dr Maths, who writes a column for Top Class every fortnight and challenges our readers to take part in a quiz, is the former head of mathematics at Newcastle College.

In 2006, however, he took on a demanding role as one of nine regional co-ordi-nators in the country to work for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.

The centre is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It has been given pounds 15m to spend over the next three years to look at how maths is taught and how it could be improved.

As part of this job, Dr Maths works alongside schools, colleges and universities in the North East and one of his aims is to get more people choosing the subject for Higher and Further Education.

He said: "Ten years ago the number of school-leavers studying maths at A-level was around 80,000 and that now stands at 55,000, which is a big loss.

"A lot of students are now choosing subjects like sociology or media studies, which appear more varied and interesting than subjects like maths and science.

"The teaching of maths has improved over recent years. …

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