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Year 10 Mathematicians Rock In London

10 February 2020  |  Darren Smith

Setting off at, a very early, 6am on Thursday 20th June, little did we know that from that moment on, we would be living life at 100mph!

Wendy, out amazing tour guide, welcomed us on board the coach, which became our home from home, for the next three days.

Our first stop was the Emirates Air Line Exhibition, where we glided above the Thames in a cable car and enjoyed great views of London. Spanning the Thames, and dangling up to 90 metres above the river, the Emirates Air Line has developed the first urban cable car. It offers passengers fantastic views of the City, Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.

Back on the ground, we then explored the concept of flight and learnt how to use science to achieve lift off, by examining the importance of airflow and aerodynamics. To finish this visit, we had the opportunity to ‘fly’ one of the four, state of the art fixed based Flight Simulators: two Airbus A380s and two Boeing 777s. Perfect for budding pilots! The experience was guided by a trained simulator instructor, and was a great way to gain insight into what it takes to fly a commercial aircraft…although I would not trust my life to any of our Stokesley pilots just yet.

A quick stop for our evening meal at Wildwood Restaurants and then onto the theatre. We saw School Of Rock – The Musical, which is based on the iconic, hit Jack Black film. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s (Olivier Award-winning) stage adaptation left us rocking the night away! This show is described as, ‘A guitar-thrashing, drum-rolling, rip-roaring celebration of the power of rock,’ and tells the story of Dewey Finn, a down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star struggling to make ends meet. Finn discovers his students’ hidden musical talents, and opts to enlist his fifth-graders in a quest to conquer The Battle of the Bands. To our amazement, all the actors, including the country’s finest pint-sized rock star prodigies, played their own instruments. We were left astounded by the incredible talent of these youngsters, who we were lucky enough to see coming out of the Stage Door, after their performance. Many of our students posed for photos with the actors who played Dewey Finn and the headmistress, Rosalie Mullins.

At 11.30pm we headed to our Premier Inn…most of us were exhausted by this first day of fun!

On Friday, we were up bright and early for breakfast at 7.30am and then boarded the coach for another day of adventures! Our first port of call was a workshop designed to show how important Mathematics is to a successful business such as the Thorpe Park Resort. Students were shown how Maths is crucial for creating exciting rides (but ones where safety is of the utmost importance.) The rides are meticulously planned in dimensions and accelerations and our group worked out the effects of forces and acceleration on rollercoasters. As teachers, we were very proud to see, that the calculations were easily understood by our mini-Mathematicians and correct answers we coming from all sides.

The second part of this visit was to witness all this Maths in action. This park is home to 30 thrilling rides and says it is, ‘The ultimate destination for thrill seekers,’ as it has some of the most incredible rollercoasters in the UK. The Stealth is currently the fastest rollercoaster available in the UK and launches riders up to 250ft at 80mph in just 2.5 seconds. We had just learnt about this during our workshop but nothing could have prepared us for the actual experience!

Dinner at Pizza Express and then two games of Bowling later, all of our students were once again exhausted and ready for sleep as they awaited the last jam-packed day of the itinerary.

On Saturday, our last day, we visited The Wonderlabs in the Equinor Gallery at The Science Museum. This was an experience like no other! With over 50 incredible exhibits and demonstrations, the power of Maths and Science, that shape our everyday lives, was revealed. It certainly did inspire our students to look at the world around them in new and exciting ways and this was an opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with real scientific phenomena.

Finally, our very last activity of the trip was a Thames river cruise. We ditched dry land and saw London’s attractions from a different perspective. Westminster, the London Eye, the Tower of London and finally docking in Greenwich, were among a few, of the many landmarks, we sailed by. The cruise was complete with some engaging, educational and rather entertaining commentary.

Back on to the coach for our final drive home…most of our group wished they were staying longer! A few rounds of Bingo (Get your Dabbers Out!) and ‘Noms’ (nominations for individual prizes as voted for by the students) took us up to the moment where we had to say goodbye…this was with a very heavy heart, as this had been an amazing trip.

We were very grateful to the staff (Mr Alcock, Mrs Bolton, Ms Leach and Mrs Timney) who gave up their time to accompany the group and especially to Mr Alcock, who had organised this trip down to the finest detail.

The staff were very proud of the students throughout the trip; behaviour was excellent.  They showed incredible enthusiasm and wonderful spirit across these three days and the staff found it a pleasure to spend this time with them.

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