Masterclasses take place along with so many different educational influences and it is very difficult to determine their impact. This story from Paul Messenger in Glamorgan gives a lovely insight into the possibilities.
At our Masterclass sessions, we usually have a backboard with posters of past and future masterclasses. My masterclass is about Einstein and Relativity. The poster features E=mc2, picture of Einstein, Starship Enterprise and some nuclear equations. A parent asked me while she was waiting for her child "Who does that one - its looks interesting." I said "I do", and told her a little about it. She asked me very nicely if she could sit in on it. I said that it wouldn't be a problem, and to grab a seat at the back.
The presentation went very well, with numerous students coming to ask me questions at the end, with wormholes and nuclear explosions being popular! The following week, the parent came to see me. I asked if she enjoyed it. She said "I have to thank you. You have made me take up A-level maths. I was looking for something to do, and you have decided it for me. I want to know what you know!"
I thought - "Now that’s a compliment!" – Paul Messenger