We offer a range of interactive sessions and talks, from school visits and subject taster days to science trails, regional events and public lectures.

Our activities and events are tailored with different age groups in mind and we can arrange bespoke sessions too - just ask.

We believe that maths is for everyone; we want to share our enthusiasm for the subject and open up opportunities for all.

Our A level students took part in a session about mathematical proof. This is something they have struggled with in lessons, so it was brilliant to have a real mathematician to detail, first hand, how integral it is to the subject. The students loved the afternoon and felt more confident and inspired to work on their proof questions, ready for their exams.

Maths teacher, Fulford School, York

Activities for Key Stage 2 to 3

Combining mathematics and history, this session uses a model of the Enigma machine to show how messages were kept secret during the Second World War.

Put your secret-keeping skills to the test!

This session is an easy introduction to the mathematics of codes, from simple Caesar cyphers to modern-day cryptography.

How long does it take for a fingernail to grow? How many layers are there in a croissant?

In this session, we use some simple maths to investigate how things around us grow at different speeds, using fingernails, knitting, croissants and Covid-19 as examples.

Activities for Key Stage 3 to 5

A crime has been committed in the (fictional) town of Springfield! Can you work out the identity of the culprit, using a mixture of geometry, probability and cryptography?

A simple coin-tossing game with some very counter-intuitive properties. This session explores these properties, and shows how to use the binary number system to work out optimal game strategies.

We use Venn diagrams and simple probability to understand how statistics arising from medical tests and court cases can be misinterpreted.

This uses the idea of repeated experiments to estimate a probability, and finds a good approximation for π along the way.

Year 10/11 Science Work Experience

Explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with an in-person work experience programme.

Activities for Key Stage 5

We can offer mock interviews for students applying to Oxford or Cambridge for whom the process may be alien or intimidating and who have no other source of comparable support.

An introduction to group theory via bell-ringing and the 15 puzzle.

The maths of ecosystems, climate change and how to go to the toilet!

A gentle introduction to the mathematics of card shuffling, involving probability, permutations and a little magic.

Using probability, logarithms and differentiation, this session shows how hard it is to make money through gambling.

The maths hidden underneath this simple conundrum has direct relevance to real problems in ecology and evolution such as:

  • How fast should a fish swim?
  • Why do elderly people break their bones so easily?
  • How do bacteria learn to gamble?

An exploration of prime numbers, from historical results to modern day advances, including how these fascinating numbers are now crucial to the security of the internet through public key cryptography.

Using first-order differential equations and a little statistics to understand the tactics and outcome of the Battle of Britain.

The mental challenges were very engaging and it was fun to work in groups on difficult problems.

York Experience Summer School participant


Since 2016 we've helped to organise Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses for students in North Yorkshire.

These highly interactive sessions - coordinated by some of our PhD students - introduce students to aspects or applications of maths which may not usually be covered in the school curriculum. The sessions are designed to open young people’s eyes to the excitement, beauty and real-world value of mathematics.

Public outreach

We frequently take part in events aimed at enthusing families and the general public about maths, such as York Festival of Ideas and Pint of Science.

We're always very happy to receive requests to run sessions for local interest groups such as Scouts and Guides. To enquire about organising a session, email us at maths-outreach@york.ac.uk