Oxford Mathematicians Visit the Walford and North Shropshire College, Aspire Campus

Two Oxford University professors have paid a visit to the Aspire Centre Campus of Walford and North Shropshire College (WNSC). Professor Anne Watson and Professor John Mason are both world leaders in the field of mathematics education at Oxford University.

Shropshire, United Kingdom, March 29, 2013 --(PR.com)-- They were invited along to the campus by Simon Thomas, Engineering Co-ordinator at Aspire, in order to experience mathematics in action in the engineering workshop. A number of current and former students were also invited to attend.

Whilst at the Tenbury Wells campus, the two mathematicians worked on practical tasks in the machine shop. They were shown how to set the centre lathe, which requires the use of mathematical calculations, by Dave Mayfield and Michisla Jones, former mature students at Aspire.

Professor Watson commented, “These are exactly the sort of tasks that need to be incorporated into the school curriculum to bring mathematics alive for students.” She now intends to encourage other mathematics teachers to experience these applied tasks for themselves. It is hoped this could see the Aspire Centre hosting future events to facilitate this.

Professor John Mason witnessed a demonstration of motor vehicle skills given by current student, 18 year old Gabriel Chinn. Gabriel showed great understanding in explaining the task he was working on; front brake pad and disc inspection.

Professor Watson was also keen to join in a practical MIG welding lesson and enjoyed her first experience of this discipline. Year 11 student, Brandon Foster, from Stourport High School, was able to instruct the professor in the use of the equipment.

The Campus will also be hosting a visit from, Local Member of Parliament, Philip Dunne in the near future. He will be visiting the campus to discuss the government’s plan to facilitate greater school participation in vocational education.

Simon Thomas, commented, “There appears to be a general misconception that engineering is a vocation specifically for low achievers. However, the ability to undertake, sometimes quite complex, mathematical calculations is required within the engineering workshop. It is hoped that this visit will help to promote engineering in a more positive light and encourage more students to take up a career in this area.”

To find out more about engineering at the Aspire Centre, Tenbury Wells, please visit the website at www.wnsc.ac.uk, telephone 01584 811789 or email the Centre Manager, Gina Harris on g.harris@wnsc.ac.uk.
Walford & North Shropshire College
Lucy Evans
01691 688039