Spring 2015 Masterclass network news

News from the Masterclass team and accross the Masterclass networks

  • Students making robots

    Students making robots during our 2014 Summer Schools

    Credit: Tim Mitchell

Masterclass team

As always, things are very busy for the Masterclass team. Ben has settled in well and is focusing on growing the new Computer Science Masterclass network in locations up and down the country. Rachel is working with a team of engineers from the University of Birmingham to help them develop robotics Masterclasses, as well as supporting new speakers across the country. Joe has been extremely busy getting the London spring Secondary Mathematics Masterclass series up and running. Sam is currently supporting both the Secondary and Primary Mathematics Masterclass networks, working with new and existing groups all over the country and taking over the organisation of the Primary Mathematics Masterclasses here at the Ri.

We are currently recruiting for several people to join our busy and dedicated team, including a Primary Masterclass Coordinator and a Masterclass Programme Manager. We are very grateful to Diane for returning to the Ri to manage the Masterclass team, and are looking forward to her continued involvement in delivering Masterclasses throughout her retirement.


Our spring Mathematics Masterclass series have been getting underway across the UK. With 40 of our 77 Secondary Mathematics Masterclass series starting this term, it is a very busy time. In London, we had six Year 9 series and three Sixth Form series starting in January, with the Year 10 and 11 and one Year 9 series continuing from the autumn term. We are very happy to welcome new series in Hull, Inverness and Elgin to the Masterclass family, as well as new organisers in Exeter. Our new series in Chelmsford is continuing successfully after the Christmas break with Dr Phil Ramsden giving his Masterclass on Infinity.

The Primary Mathematics Masterclass network is going from strength to strength with new series starting this term in Wells and Coventry and many more planned across the country. As with our Secondary Mathematics Masterclasses, many of our series are starting this term and we look forward to welcoming 30 new Year 5 pupils to the Ri spring Masterclasses in February.

We are really focusing on building sustainable local speakers bases for all of our series, particularly those in London, so if you know of anyone who would like to get involved in delivering Primary Mathematics Masterclasses please let us know. Our lovely Mathematics Masterclass resources book is full of easily adaptable ideas for those new to Masterclasses, and we offer tailored support to all new speakers.


We had a big push at the end of last term to book all of the students onto our spring Engineering Masterclass series. We have expanded this year, adding a new series at UCL and have increased the number of students at the series at London Metropolitan. As in previous years, we still have two spring series at Imperial College and two series at Trinity that start after half term. All in all, we can now offer just short of 200 places to London Year 9 students for the spring term Engineering Masterclasses.
Thank you to all the engineers who have agreed to take part in the Engineering Masterclasses as speakers – both long-term speakers and new recruits! We wouldn’t be able to do this without your time, effort and support.
Outside London, we have our series at Warwick University and Paper Trail in Hertfordshire both up and running for their third year. Good luck!

Computer Science

The Computer Science Masterclasses are now off to a great start, with four series running or on the cusp of launching and many others in the planning stages. Within London we have series running at Gladesmore Community School, Haringey; Trinity School, Croydon; and University College London, Camden. Outside London, the University of Birmingham are running our first national series for Year 9 students across Birmingham.

These series are illustrative of the ability of the Masterclasses to focus the diversity of computer science into a fantastic experience for the pupils. Across the series, students are working with members of industry and academia in schools and universities. There isn’t enough space to list all of the topics our speakers are covering, but they really paint a picture of the breadth of computer science – from binary through electronics to wearable technology in dance performance via 3D printable laptops. The future looks bright for the Computer Science Masterclasses, but we’re always looking for more partners so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

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