Two local MPs got a staggering new perspective on maths during their visit to MathsCity in Leeds, showing huge support for the unique discovery centre and the benefits it provides to communities.
Hilary Benn, MP for Leeds Central, and Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North East, both took an interactive tour of MathsCity inside Trinity Leeds, which has been launched by the charity, MathsWorldUK.
The pair threw themselves into the experience, getting hands-on with MathsCity’s fun exhibits, such as a giant kaleidoscope and bubble, a digital code-breaking machine, a laser ‘ring of fire’, and many mind-bending puzzles and games.
The MPs’ reactions to the wonders inside MathsCity shows the powerful role this visitor attraction can have in changing attitudes towards maths.
Hilary Benn remarked: “It forces you to look at maths in a different way and it helps people of all ages. We all get quite young when we come in here, which we need!”.
Exclaiming “I’m staggered!”, Fabian Hamilton was also impressed, saying how much similarity there was in the maths at play inside MathsCity and the maths that is used in everyday lives and jobs.
The team behind MathsCity believes mathematics is a fundamental enabler of social mobility and employability, and they’re committed to giving people a positive experience of maths that goes beyond the formal mathematics that is taught in schools.
Dr Katie Chicot, MathsCity CEO, says: “We want to break down the barriers that exclude so many people in the UK from flourishing in maths. School teaches calculations, but what does it mean in real life?
“MathsCity has been designed to allow everyone to develop their problem-solving skills in a really fun, no-pressure environment, using logic puzzles and sensory exhibits. It’s all about boosting maths confidence and discovering the joy of maths.”
The charity’s ultimate goal is to open a large, permanent maths discovery centre that will be able to host mathematics festivals, lectures and workshops, theatre performances and multi-media shows.
“Leeds is an under-served city with science discovery centres,” says Dr Chicot. “We’re incredibly grateful to Trinity Leeds for giving us space inside their prime shopping centre to launch MathsCity. For the project to become self-sustainable, and to really put Leeds on the map, we’re seeking government support to help fund a world-class visitor attraction, which will enable us to continue improving people’s relationship with maths.”
Hilary Benn’s visit certainly left him with a great impression: “MathsCity is fantastic! I really enjoyed my visit, talking to the students from Leeds City College who were engaged in a school visit, but also having my brain challenged by fiendish puzzles! I’d urge everyone to visit.”
Tickets to visit MathsCity can be purchased online at www.mathscity.co.uk.
More information about how to support the initiative can also be found on their website.