On Monday 26th June, nineteen Year 10 students travelled down to the University of Sussex to spend the day exploring the practical applications of maths and physics concepts they have learnt during their GCSE courses.
The morning session started with a probability experiment, ‘The Great Race’, where students made predictions and then investigated with dice comparing theoretical probabilities with the relative frequency of the outcome occurring. After discussing normal distribution patterns, students were given a chance to explore whether similar patterns would emerge with 10-sided dice. Next up was a carousel of three physics workshops; magnetism, radioactivity and static electricity. Students had the chance to see experiments that we are unable to do within school to further develop their understanding with the cloud chamber and magnetic levitation.
After lunch, students again went into carousel sessions on minimum surface areas, sampling and abstract mathematics. Students explored topics like capture-recapture in mathematical sampling in a practical manner; bringing meaning to some of the theoretical lessons which have taken place back at school. Student particularly enjoyed trying to reach 5 pitches of sound using a rubber tube and the force of their own arm movement.
Our last session saw every student create their own spectrometer – using a cardboard tube and an old CD, students looked at different light sources and determine the gas element from the spectra lines it produced.
All in all, students enjoyed their day of practical maths and physics, and have lots of ideas of how we can incorporate more of these experiments and investigations in the classroom! We would all like to thank the University of Sussex and the Widening Participation team for inviting and welcoming us to their campus today.