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Inviting an O.R. professional into your classroom is a great way to motivate and inspire students’ interest and to promote enthusiasm and encourage learning in mathematics.

An external visitor (not a teacher) coming into a class can generate an air of interest from pupils as they know it won’t be an ‘ordinary’ lesson.  Building on that initial interest, an O.R. professional can open their eyes to a world where mathematics is used every day and in exciting and unusual ways.

Careers in O.R. are varied and therefore your speaker could come from any number of backgrounds including transport, manufacturing, sport, and government.

As an enhancement and enrichment (E&E) activity to extend the curriculum into the real-world, an O.R. professional could run an interactive workshop for your class.  An O.R technique would be presented to the class and its real-life applications described.  The class can then work through an example, pupils can see elements of pure maths being applied to answer every-day problems, e.g. graphing inequalities is used in Linear Programming to help solve optimisation problems.

Subject to availability and school location, if you would like to invite a speaker we will contact our members on your behalf to find a suitable speaker for your event. 

If you’d like to invite a speaker, please contact charlene.timewell@theorsociety.com

Briefing your speaker

Once you have a speaker it is important to brief them on exactly what they are expected to do.  Your speaker will have a lot less experience than you of being in a school.

The speaker will need to know:

  • The precise format
  • How long to speak for
  • How long for answering questions
  • The age and number of children
  • Any special needs to account for

Make sure that any facilities they may need are ready when they arrive and available to be tested beforehand. The speaker may be quite apprehensive – what is every-day for you could be quite a challenge for them, so do your best to make the occasion relaxed and smooth for them.

How to make the most of your speaker

Think about inviting two or three presenters – this reduces the pressure on the individual and means that you can present differing points of view to the students. This is a good idea if you are organising an event that will run longer than a timetabled lesson and maybe involve more than one class.

On the day of the visit, make sure that the guest is welcomed when they arrive and escorted to where they are supposed to be.

After the event, make sure that your speaker is thanked – a message from the students is usually especially well received.

Feedback from recent visits

St Francis Xavier College

Bearsden Academy

The College of Richard Collyer

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