After an absence of 3 years due to Covid, the 11th Annual Gloucestershire Schools’ Christmas Lectures were held at the Bacon Theatre, Dean Close School in December 2022 to a sell-out audience of County schoolchildren. Some 500 pupils from 18 schools across the County enjoyed presentations from two leading science communicators who focussed on Maths greatest unsolved problems and the dynamics of energy. The entertaining and interactive presentations, which were enjoyed by the students and teachers, referred to the real-life context for students to enable them to appreciate the relevance of science in any future career.
The ongoing concern around skills shortages and the continuing need to produce and retain more scientists and engineers in the future make events like this an essential part of the work companies and organisations are engaged in throughout the STEM community.
“Maths greatest unsolved problems” – Katie Steckles explained that while mathematicians are undoubtedly brilliant, and their work is used in all kinds of amazing scientific and technological discoveries, there are still questions they can’t answer. Every mathematical question is a puzzle to be solved, and while there were plenty of puzzles to chew on, she also discussed some of the questions that still leave mathematicians stumped – from simple-sounding number and shape problems to some truly mind-bending fundamental questions.