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Small Grants Fund 2021 Highlights

Each year the Small Grants Fund allows community groups, schools, libraries and individual to take part in Maths Week Scotland to create their own innovative events and resources. We asked the panel what they were most excited about funding this year!

Taking a look through the bids for Maths Week Scotland Small Grants Fund is always a joy – there is so much creativity, passion and enthusiasm for maths and for learning on display.

This year the Fund supported 74 activities and initiatives with over £55,000 of investment from the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust and the Scottish Government. There is a wonderful range of activity, much of it connecting with the Our World theme for 2021 and with new and innovative ideas and opportunities for embracing and celebrating maths in the world around us.

The initiatives funded will ensure that our schools, communities and early years centres all over Scotland are thriving with events and learning activities such as outdoor maths relays, weather stations and analysis projects, orienteering, outdoor maths trails, home numeracy and maths packs, treasure hunts, escape rooms, story books that represent number, shape and pattern, outdoor maths learning materials, board games, code breaker challenges, maths circles, maths sheds, painted playground markings and designs, baking and cooking, participatory budgeting, and weather and climate change projects.

We’re not allowed to have favourites but we were especially excited about the following projects!:

Maths Week Scotland knitted banner at the University of Glasgow

Inspired by the success of the School of Chemistry’s knitted periodic table project, the University of Glasgow’s School of Mathematics and Statistics are engaging the wider community and their network of knitters in a mathematical knitting project that will make up the headline ‘Maths Week Scotland’ and other squares containing a semi-hidden mathematical symbol. Additional knitted equilateral triangles will make the Maths Week Scotland logo and added to the banner. People and wool are provided by the University and the Small Grants Fund has supported the postage costs involved. The completed banner will be unveiled during the Week!

Our World Bookbug and Storytime sessions in West Dunbartonshire

Based around the theme of Our World, outdoor Storytime sessions in local national parks will aim to show families that maths is all around us in ways we don’t even realise and can be easily (and non-scarily!) incorporated into everyday life and is not just a subject for an educational establishment. Outdoor Bookbug sessions will focus stories, songs and activities on numeracy for young learners and their families with activity packs for home use afterwards.

Busby Primary School

Busby Primary School’s aim is to challenge children's thinking about mathematics and our world through workshops with local businesses promoting recycling, measuring carbon footprint and allowing opportunities to be creative with maths.

Using maths to solve crime with Fast Familiar

Fast Familiar will deliver sessions based on their interactive graphic novel murder mystery created in partnership with the award-winning Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Dundee. The session challenge players to use critical thinking, logic and maths to work through a series of puzzles to uncover who committed a crime. The activity will encourage participants to be curious about mathematics, understand the relevance of maths learning and skills to their lives, now and in the future and how maths impacts science. A virtual conversation with forensic scientists will demonstrate how it is used within that area of work. The Small Grants Fund will enable the game and a Q&A session for up to 120 S3 pupils in Glasgow.

Oxgangs Maths Club

Oxgangs Maths brings families together to play maths games and participate in maths challenges that promote teamwork, communication, logical, creative innovative thinking to solving maths problems that are applicable to everyday activities. Small Grant Funding will create a maths obstacle course at a community centre to be enjoyed by the whole family. The challenges will test knowledge on maths application in the real world, with opportunities to build models of instruments that can tells us about the weather and further concepts can be explored on discussing the impact of climates change on the weather.

Northmuir Primary School

As part of their school focus on Financial Education, each class in Northmuir Primary School will be provided with produce grown in the school polytunnel and grounds by the pupil and allocated a budget. Each class will then choose a recipe, manage budgets and purchase additional ingredients, follow the recipe and then enjoy what they have made. Their work will be shared with the community via an online recipe book which will include information about costings. Associated activities will

focus on areas such as how to keep money safe, what is a budget and its’ benefits, and investigating interest rates supported by Money Advice Scotland.

Edinburgh Central Library and Edinburgh Children's Library

Central Library and the Children's Library are hosting a variety of fun maths-themed

events for adults and children, from pattern-making to Möbius strips building on their existing programme of STEM/art/literacy activities while giving them a refreshing boost and unifying them through the focus on Maths.

Proposed events include:

· a strategy-themed Teen Book Group session featuring a ‘Games Master’ night with brand new Maths-linked board games and an escape room;

· a number/counting-themed Bookbug session with large number/counting props and toys;

· a Maths Trail for younger visitors to the Children’s Library; and

· an artist-led pattern-making Adult Craft Group session using simple relief printing techniques.

South Lanarkshire Council - Youth, Family and Community Learning Service

Step it out will engage learners and enhance their maths skills through capturing and analysing data from counting steps. Framed through the climate emergency and the need to reduce our carbon footprint they are raising awareness of this issue with learners and supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing by walking more, wherever they are able. During Maths Week Scotland, a competition for learners will support them to walk as much as possible, using pedometers to track how many steps they have taken on a daily basis followed by session exploring data analysis and discussion. Funding will cover the costs of pedometers and some prizes.

Dalmellington Primary School - Financial Education: Skills for Life, Learning and Work

This project will link Maths Week Scotland with local Participatory Budgeting Events. Pupils will exercise their right to their opinion by voting how local funding is allocated in their community. Linking with Skill for Life, Learning and Work, pupils will learn the skill of budgeting and organising finances through a real-life context.

The Community School of Auchterarder

The School’s S6 Numeracy Navigators will design and implement numeracy-based events both for Maths Week Scotland, but for events throughout the year. The Numeracy Navigators will be supported to upskill their digital capacities, build leadership skills and grow their collaborative skills through planning events such as maths treasure hunts, escape rooms and outdoor maths trails. The aim will be to accredit the Navigators with a Young STEM leader award.

Our Lady of the Missions Primary School - Citizen steM: Our Common World

Building on sustainability and climate action work linked to maths activities, all pupils will be involved in a series of outdoor maths and STEM open-ended problem solving challenges, play and creativity tasks. With a den building kit and added resources they will create a ‘natural disasters emergency kit’ to explore climate change challenges through the application of maths problem solving, for example, calculating how much food/water is required for a village that has been destroyed; the weight of sandbags required to protect certain sizes and shapes of buildings from flood; how maths is used to help redirect or construct a bridge over a river; and calculating the number of trees to be planted to maintain a healthy planet.

Holyrood Secondary School Mathematics Department

A Maths and STEM Department partnership will introduce a new Learning for Sustainability home learning project to welcome all S1s and encourage them to see the value of Maths and Numeracy across the curriculum including a creative design solution linked to COP26. Funding will cover the costs of prizes for the stand-out entries. In addition an informal and fun family learning numeracy workshop will be held focussed on improving parental confidence and supporting to help their children with home learning with time for parents/carers to work with their children. Small

Grant Funding will cover the costs of translation services and catering at the workshop.

Blog from the Maths Week Scotland Small Grants Fund Panel at the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust and the Scottish Government

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