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The Maths trip to see Johnny Ball

On Tuesday 6th February 50 pupils, 3 members of staff and 2 parents left school at 10:15 to travel to Bradford for the "Johnny Ball's Tales of Maths and Legends" show.

The pupils were all from Years 7 and 8, 26 boys and 24 girls. The journey, by coach, passed peacefully and uneventfully. Shortly after we passed  over the highest point of any motorway in England (on the M62) we saw the stunning site of a reservoir overflowing its dam.

We arrived at St Georges Hall with about 20 minutes to spare to get organised in our seats. The first picture shows Peter already enjoying himself and the show has not even started!

The lights dimmed, the music began and the curtains opened to reveal the TV maths legend himself, Johnny Ball.   As he introduced the show with a song he made his main points about Maths- "Maths is not just about numbers. They are the starting point that leads to explaining how the whole world works. Myths are historic tales which may or may not have happened. Maths 'proves' things to be."

The performance was a history of Mathematics from the maths used to help build the Great Pyramid at Giza, 4,700 years ago, through to the birth of computing.

We learned about the contributions of many famous mathematicians including Pythagoras, Archimedes, Fibonacci, Euler, Newton and Galileo. We also heard about some less well known mathematical heros; Hero, Ctesubius, Al Khwarizmi and Adelard of Bath.

Each story was played out by Johnny and his two assistants dressed in appropriate costume. There was a trebuchet fired at the audience (Archimedes), exploding rabbits (Fibonacci) and a member of the audience catching a ball fired from a cannon (Galileo)!

Many of the demonstrations involved volunteers from the audience and one of our own pupils, Kirsty, managed to get a starring role. With guidance from Johnny Ball she successfully carried out a trick with 3 eggs and 3 glasses (you needed to be there).

Suddenly it was all over- a packed musical show of 2 hours in which we were entertained and educated. There had been so many mathematical people and ideas discussed that we could not possibly hope to recall it all. Before the final song Johnny explained that each member of the audience would get a poster to remind us of the show and many of the things we had seen. The poster includes a great Johnny Ball quote, "I believe that to make your life happy and successful, you need a love of people and a love of maths".

Our final two pictures show Kirsty on stage and some of our group outside the St Georges Hall on the way to the coach after the show.

We had a great day. No one got lost, no one gave us any trouble and best of all, no one was travel sick!

Thanks to all staff, parents and the coach driver from Staintons.