Before starting the Discover Maths programme, Alex had little interest in maths inside the classroom, much less beyond it. Like all participants in Discover Maths, he was chosen because his teachers felt he had real potential in maths but had lost confidence in his mathematical abilities and this had led to some disengagement.
Over the course of the programme, he participated in a range of workshops and visits: Designing an Olympic Village with Persimmon Homes; personal finance and jobs in finance with Coutts bank; the maths involved in cooking
and running a food business with City of Bristol College; engineering and ‘Being the Bridgemaster’ at Clifton Suspension Bridge; and, using scale in prop design and building at Warner Brothers Studio Tour. On the first trip, Alex was quiet and, although he participated in activities, he didn’t take the lead and told us he didn’t want to make suggestions in case he got things wrong. As the programme progressed, he came to be more and more confident and increasingly willing to put forward his ideas about how to solve problems. He began to show real leadership skills as
he became more confident in his mathematical abilities (and less worried about sometimes making mistakes with his maths).
By the time the programme finished, his adults told us that he was working harder in maths and science. Not only that, but they told us that he understood better the value of money and was even talking about investments. His maths teachers also told us that he was more confident in lessons and that he was more willing to try, even if it meant he might get something wrong.