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Monday, 26 January 2015 (3061745)
Hillside hosts international maths seminar
by Tom Martin

A BOOTLE school welcomed pupils from Germany and Holland into their classroom after they jetted in to take part in an annual maths seminar.

Hillside High School hosts a two day International Mathematics Seminar every year which involves youngsters from across Europe coming together to solve a variety of maths problems and take part in different activities.

But this time around staff decided to make it extra “special” by organising a Technology Seminar to run alongside it on Wednesday, January 21.

A spokesperson for the school said: “The maths seminar started off with some problem solving activities. The pupils worked in international teams with the English speaking pupils supporting their international guests in the use of English mathematical terms.

”At the end of the session they had to present their answer, which was a challenge for all pupils, but especially for those with English as a second language.

“Meanwhile, in the Technology Seminar, a different challenge was provided for our pupils. One of our Belgian colleagues was leading an intensive workshop on programming a Lego robot around a course.

”This is difficult enough, but all the instructions and software were in Dutch, so our pupils relied heavily on their colleagues for support; this is the whole point of the seminar.

“When our pupils leave us and go on to sixth form and university, they may well move into careers with international companies.

”They will have to work with colleagues from different countries to form problem-solving groups and explain answers. We believe that the skills they develop in the seminar will be of great value in the future.

“The second day was about a longer challenge. The mathematicians had to work out how to get employees efficiently up to their offices in a large tower block with only a small number of lifts, whilst the technologists had to program the robot to undertake tasks on a moon-like landscape using a variety of sensors.

”The seminars finished with a show and tell session and some fond farewells. At the start of day one each school was sitting separately in its own group.

“By the end of the seminar there was just one group of students who together had leant a lot about their subjects and gained some valuable lessons for their futures.”


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