Hackney students walk in footsteps of Nobel Prize winning mathematicians at University of Cambridge

Hackney students visited the University of Cambridge last week.

Hackney students visited the University of Cambridge last week. - Credit: Archant

High-achieving teenagers from six schools in Hackney walked in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winning mathematicians last week thanks to an outreach event at the University of Cambridge.

The event, dubbed the “Maths Residential”, challenged students to work in small groups, supervised by three Cambridge PhD students at Clare College, on projects including “measuring physical objects with light”, “strategy games and curvy graphs” and “an introduction to mathematical modelling”.

Taking part were 18 Year 12 students from BSix Brooke House Sixth Form, Clapton Girls’ Academy, Mossbourne Community Academy, The Petchey Academy, Skinners’ Academy and Stoke Newington School and Sixth Form.

The pupils also took part in lectures, workshops and even a spot of punting to give them a taste of university life, as well as receiving advice about how to make an application to a top university.

Mossbourne student Alliyah Campbell said: “Cambridge has amazing lecturers and there is a great work ethic overall.

“The university spirit is refreshing and you get excellent teaching.”

Murat Apat, who goes to Skinners’ Academy, said: “I was wondering whether I would be able to adapt to the university lifestyle.

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“After this experience, I believe it’s less intimidating and will help me a lot on my choices on university.

“The staff were really enthusiastic and this motivated me to work harder – it took me out of my comfort zone.”

Keji Neri, who also attends Mossbourne, said: “The best thing about the residential was getting to learn about a new area of maths I haven’t looked into before.”

All three students won prizes for their projects at the end of the day.

Rachel Ayres, who is schools liaison officer at Clare College, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome such a hard-working group of students.

“The programme was designed to stretch them academically and they all rose to the challenge, producing work that impressed the three PhD students who worked with them.

“The students explored areas of mathematics that they wouldn’t normally encounter at A-level [which] gave them confidence to consider pursuing maths further.

“We’re delighted that so many of the students said they would consider applying to Cambridge next year.”