Professor Stuart Townley, who will be undertaking a cycling tour of West-Cornwall with colleagues to promote maths in schools

Penryn Campus peloton make final preparations for school maths tour with a difference

A team of intrepid experts are preparing to set the wheels in motion in their quest to bring maths to life for Cornish schoolchildren.

Professor Stuart Townley and his cycling colleagues from the University of Exeter are gearing up to carry out a three-day tour of schools across West Cornwall by bike, starting on Wednesday, June 25.

The Penryn Campus ‘peloton’ will visit 14 schools during their whistle-stop 100 mile trip, delivering a 30-90 minute workshop for pupils from Years 7-13 at each stage of the tour.

The team will also try and encourage the pupils to get involved in the tour by calculating everything from the speed, distance and time taken to get from school to school. They will also talk about the environmental benefits of cycling compared with taking a similar journey by car or motorcycle.

Professor Townley, who lectures in Applied Mathematics at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute said “We really wanted to do something a little different, and show how mathematics can be applied to an everyday activity such as cycling.” He added “We wanted to leave a sustained footprint on students aspirations, but a footprint that is carbon neutral.

“For the younger pupils, we hope to show that mathematics is an exciting, useful and relevant subject, and try and promote a real interest in the subject that may stay with them through their school life.

“We also want to show those pupils who may be thinking about Maths as a degree choice that not only is it a stimulating and challenging subject, but that it is available at the Penryn Campus right on their doorstep.

“We are always really keen to get involved with the local schools and communities as much as possible, and this cycle tour gives us a chance to talk directly to many of the next generation of mathematicians.”

Date: 24 June 2014

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