Department of Mathematics

Outreach activities available on or off site

We have a variety of activities, workshops and talks available to schools, colleges and other interested parties. They have all been designed for a range of age groups (either Key Stage 3, 4 or 5, A-level students or the general public) and are presented by members of the Department (either a researcher, research student, postgraduate or undergraduate student). Most of our activities can be presented either at the University of Sussex or possibly in an alternative location (unless stated below, and if within a reasonable travel time of the University).

To keep up to date with all our activities and upcoming events, please email your name, position and school/college to mathsoutreach@sussex.ac.uk

Please note:

  • All our activities are free.
  • We are flexible! If you have an idea for an activity or talk not listed, please get in touch and we will do our best to accomodate you.
  • Multiple activities can be done during a single visit.
  • We may limit the number of times that we visit a particular school per academic year (depending on size), to enable us to visit as many schools as possible.
  • All our activities are suitable for Key Stage 4 and 5 (e.g. GCSE and AS/A-level/sixth-form) students, and some are suitable for the general public.
  • Please give us as much notice as possible when requesting an activity to ensure that we have enough staff available on the day. This is especially important for larger events (more than 25 students) which will require more than one member of the Department to assist.

mathematical minimal surface area bubbles problemMathematical minimal surface area bubbles exercise

We have a variety of activities and workshops that are available to take out to local schools, colleges and other interested parties (if within a reasonable travel time of Brighton). These 'activities-to-go' are presented by a member of the Maths Department - either a researcher, research student, postgraduate or undergraduate student. All our activities are also available at the University of Sussex campus in Falmer, Brighton.

Available activities and workshops include:

 

The Great Race

1 hour, KS3/4

Students will learn about probability and relative frequency in the context of 'The Great Race' - a horse race where the horses move forward depending on the outcome of a dice roll. Students will decide which horses are more likely to win, which horses cannot win, and why. The activity is suitable for KS3 students, either as an introduction to probability, or to reinforce concepts already learned

The Infection Game

1 hour, KS2/3

A fun game introduces children to the mathematics of infections and how they can spread across cities, countries and even the world.  This involves plotting basic graphs and multiplying by zero.

Networks and Zombies!

1 hour, KS4/5

Students will learn about network theory and how this branch of mathematics can be used to avoid a zombie apocalypse!

The Monty Hall game and problem

1 hour, KS3/4

The Monty Hall problem originates from a TV game show, where contestants have to guess which door a new car is hidden behind and avoid choosing the two doors containing worthless prizes. After the contestant chooses a door, one of the booby prizes is revealed, and the contestant is given the opportunity to select the other door instead. But should they stick with their original choice, or swap? Fortunately, mathematics can advise us on the best course of action! In this practical, students get to play the game and then study the maths behind the puzzle.

The Maths of card tricks

1 hour, KS3/4

There are lots of fun mathematics behind card tricks, and in this workshop students get to discover them first hand!

Geometric shapes

1 hour, KS3/4

Geometry is an important branch of mathematics, and in this workshop students get to experience the surprising results of geometry first hand.

Interactive maths puzzles

1 hour, KS3/4

We have a wide variety of maths puzzles available to try out on your students!

How many? Estimating numbers

30 minutes, KS3/4

There are numbers mathematical ways to estimate populations, whether it is of how many aircraft are in the sky at any one time, to the number of tigers left in the wild. Here, we introduce several methods and get students to play out some examples. For example, the Capture-Recapture method can be used for estimating population sizes, and students get to try it out for themselves using ping pong balls in a container!