THE fifth annual Maths Week Scotland launches today, part of the Scottish Government’s drive to encourage positive attitudes to numeracy and maths.

Developed and delivered by National Museums Scotland, the event’s 2021 theme is “Our World”, exploring the importance of maths in understanding and responding to the climate emergency, while also finding maths in the world around us.

The topic will be explored in collaboration with nurseries, schools, universities, museums and other organisations.

A mix of in-person events and online sessions is planned with schools and teachers, as well as public events. The activities demonstrate the impact that maths has on all parts of life – from reducing the impact of carbon emissions to increasing the rise of a cake.

The 2020 winner of The Great British Bake Off, Peter Sawkins, in collaboration with National Numeracy, will host a virtual assembly tomorrow, which will be streamed from the National Museum of Scotland to 684 P5-P7 students across Scotland.

The 30-minute event will focus on the importance of maths in baking, with fun challenges provided in advance.

The schools programme is core to Maths Week Scotland, and the Small Grants Fund – a partnership between the Edinburgh Mathematical Society, the Glasgow Mathematical Journal Trust and the Scottish Government – has supported 75 activities across the country. So far, more than 65,000 pupils across Scotland are registered as taking part.

In secondary schools, maths careers sessions will take place to highlight future job opportunities in maths, including forensic science, engineering and conservation.

New for 2021 is the Large Grants Fund, which has provided an additional £53,000 of funding for large-scale projects.

Key activities include: the launch of a code-breaking app, which has been created by the Open University; outdoor air pollution projects at Aberdeen Science Centre, to demonstrate how maths and statistics can help us understand environmental issues; outdoor maths sessions and numeracy trail with Dumfries & Galloway Council at schools throughout the area; and a digital workshop to explore successful navigation at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.