thumbnail Maths in the mall

It’s a shoppers’ paradise but could Europe's biggest retail centre, the Metrocentre, also be a secret weapon in improving numeracy

Youngsters from across the region will find out more than just how to count the pennies on Friday (8 Feb), when they head to Maths in the Malls at the Metrocentre.
Steve Humble from Newcastle University’s School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, has devised a tour of the centre where children have to answer 14 different maths questions.
They will start at the coach and railway station and go around the different sections of the retail centre, before ending up in the blue mall. The questions include estimating the number of people who go up an escalator in an hour and calculating the size of glass panels.
Around 600 youngsters aged between six and 12, from 14 different schools and family members will take part. Their parents and carers have also been invited along so they can see for themselves how to find maths in everyday life.
Steve, who is known as Dr Maths in the Evening Chronicle, is also Guinness World Record holder for the most children learning maths outside the classroom.  He said: “I‘m really looking forward to Friday. The whole idea behind Maths in the Malls is to show that you can learn about maths anywhere.
“There’s this idea that maths is very hard and you have to be very clever to do well in it. That’s just not true and it’s the reason why I’ve invited parents and carers along – we want to show them that you don’t have to have a degree in maths to help your child. All the tools you need are out there in everyday life, you just need to understand how to use them.”
Helping Steve out will be Newcastle University education students and maths magician Martin Duffy, who will be showing the children that maths really can be magic.
Local charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) which was founded by former athlete Steve Cram, will also be there on the day. The charity works with communities in the developing world to alleviate poverty which prevents children’s education.

The organisation has invited the schools on a ‘waterwalk’ to raise funds, where youngsters will attempt  to walk at least 50 metres whilst carrying a bucket of water.  The charity will also have  a maths station in place where the pupils can play  two African maths games to really test their  ability to problem solve and play with strategy.


published on: 8th February 2013

Key Facts:

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • Ranked 16th in the UK for global research power (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 10th overall in the UK and 3rd for quality of staff/lecturers in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015
  • Winner: Outstanding Leadership and Management Team and Outstanding Procurement Team, Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • Joint 6th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 1st in the UK for Computing Science research impact, 3rd in the UK for Civil Engineering research power and 11th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical and Life Sciences research quality (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 3rd in the UK for English, and in the top 12 for Geography, Architecture and Planning, and Cultural and Media Studies research quality (REF 2014)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 94% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challenges that have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011
  • 90% Satisfaction level from our international students (ISB 2014)
  • Newcastle University Business School is one of 20 Triple Accredited Business Schools in the UK