## Teaching resources

This page contains some of the teaching resources that I have designed, or helped to design, and used in the past. If you would like to use them, or would like more information about them, then please do get in touch. Any feedback on these resources would be very much appreciated as we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our workshops.

## Geometry Workshops

In January 2015, me and David Martí Pete designed and ran a series of three geometry workshops with Year 12 pupils at St Paul's Catholic School in Milton Keynes. The aim of the series was to introduce pupils to some of the mathematical topics they might encounter at university level. The focus of the sessions was more on showing pupils the breadth of university mathematics and the way that maths is done at university, than on teaching them how to answer specific problems.

**Workshop I: From polygons to polyhedra and beyond**

Our first workshop looked at how polygons can be fitted together to construct polyhedra. Determining exactly which polygons can be fitted together to make a polyhedron, and how many different ways there are of doing this, can be very difficult. In the workshop pupils investigate this problem, solving it in a special case, before moving on to look at generalisations of polyhedra.

Get the slides (pptx, pdf), worksheet (docx, pdf) and polygons to build polyhedra with: triangles, squares, pentagons, and hexagons.

**Workshop II: Fractals everywhere**

How long is the coastline of Great Britain? This question is not as simple to answer as it might seem - the closer you view the coastline, the more detail you see, and so the longer it seems to become. This paradox is a result of the fact that coastlines are examples of fractals, which are infinitely complex mathematical images. Our second workshop looked into the difficulties that occur when you try to measure fractals, and how this relates to their dimension, which is usually not a whole number. Pupils explored fractals through the software Xaos, before applying what they had learnt to study the length of the coastline of Great Britain.

Get the slides (pptx, pdf) and worksheet (docx, pdf).

**Workshop III: Mapping the World**

Our final workshop looked at the mathematics of maps and projections. Flat maps are much more useful to us than globes, but can we actually make a map that represents the Earth in an accurate way? Are some maps better than others? How can we measure the distortion of the map, and how can we find the shortest path from one place to another? These are some of the questions studied during the workshop.

Get the slides (pptx, pdf) and worksheet (docx, pdf). A fantastic Java app for exploring maps and projections can be found here, and a useful video clip explaining stereographic projection can be found here. Resources for a similar workshop (in Catalan) can be found here.

## The Cryptic Challenge

Being based in Milton Keynes, we are only a few miles away from Bletchley Park, where the famous Enigma code was cracked during the Second World War. This, along with the release of the film The Imitation Game in November 2014, inspired us to design a code-breaking workshop. The workshop, which me and David Martí Pete developed from resources provided by the More Maths Grads project that are available here, gets pupils to work in teams to crack a series of codes in as fast a time as possible. It can be easily adapted to suit pupils of almost all ages and abilities, and as the number of activities can be varied, the duration is flexible too.

I wrote about our experience of running the workshop with Year 9 pupils at St Paul's Catholic School for the Open University Engaging Research blog. If pupils enjoy the workshop you can suggest that they enter a team into the Alan Turing competition, which is organised by the University of Manchester every year.

Get the slides (pdf) and worksheet (pdf).

I wrote about our experience of running the workshop with Year 9 pupils at St Paul's Catholic School for the Open University Engaging Research blog. If pupils enjoy the workshop you can suggest that they enter a team into the Alan Turing competition, which is organised by the University of Manchester every year.

Get the slides (pdf) and worksheet (pdf).