Maths outreach activities

We offer a range of interactive sessions and general interest talks. If you have an idea for an activity not listed here, please get in touch and we will try to help.

All of these activities are subject to availability. Please contact us for further information.

Activities for Key Stages 2 - 3

Secret keeping

An easy introduction to the mathematics of codes, from simple Caesar cyphers to modern-day cryptography.

Activities for Key Stages 3 - 5

Chance vs skill

In a sequence of games between two players, how can we distinguish between one player being more "skillful" than the other, or them just being "lucky"? This activity looks at patterns in sequences of coin tosses, and relates them to observed runs in sport and the concept of "regression to the mean".

Throwing sticks to find Pi

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

CSI Springfield

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?

Penney Ante

Penney Ante is 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.

Activities for Key Stage 5

Prime position: Number theory in modern mathematics and modern society

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.

How many times should you shuffle a pack of cards?

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

How to make money with maths

An introduction to the maths behind financial markets.

How to bet and win: and why not to trust a winner

This uses probability, logarithms and differentiation, and shows how hard it is to make money through gambling!

Bells, puzzles and symmetry: seeing the world through the eyes of an algebraist

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

How to cheat in a triathlon

The maths hidden underneath this simple conundrum has direct relevance to real problems in ecology and evolution - how fast should a fish swim, why do little old ladies break their bones, and how do bacteria learn to gamble?

Can plankton save the world?

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

Fractal Christmas tree

Mega Jam 2015

Sierpinski carpet