Developing shared approaches to maths in science and science in maths MY219

Exploring techniques to help students take their learnings from mathematics lessons in order to help them understand the mathematics required to succeed in science.


There is significant overlap between science and mathematics curricula, but students’ experience of shared topics is often very different in the two subjects. Are applications from science regularly used to explore concepts in maths lessons? Are the mathematical techniques that students learn in science developed with understanding?
Identify common content, discover how the same mathematical topics look different in science to how they appear in mathematics, consider how and when topics are taught in mathematics and explore ways of teaching that develop sufficient mathematical understanding whilst providing fluency in the skills required for success in science.


Who is it for?

Experience shows that most is gained from this course when one mathematics teacher and one science teacher from the same school/college attend the course together.

What topics are covered?

This three day course covers:
  • ⚪   working with numbers: rounding, significant figures, standard form

    ⚪   proportional reasoning: techiques to develop students ability to scale up and scale down applied to units, magnification, compound measures, molar calculations…

    ⚪   exploring equations: considering different methods of solving linear equations and how these methods may be used to improve students' ability rearrange equations

    ⚪   interpreting graphs 1: bridging the gap between expectations in mathematics and expectations in science

    ⚪   interpreting graphs 2: understanding what the gradient of a line means in different contexts

    ⚪   sketching and drawing graphs: developing techniques to improve graphs drawing skills in science

    ⚪   trigonometry: exploring an approach to teaching trigonometry with understanding applied in a science context

    ⚪   practicals for the mathematics classroom

    ⚪   throughout the course you wll consider how definitions and notation differ in mathematics and science and develop methods to minimise the barriers which make students applying their mathematical skills in a science context challenging

How long is the course?

This is a three day intensive residential course.

Who are the course leaders?

  • Stephen Lyon

    Secondary Maths Professional Development Leader, based at the National STEM Learning Centre in York.

  • Michael Anderson

    Secondary Maths Professional Development Leader, based at the National STEM Learning Centre in York.



By the end of this course, you will be able to:
  • ✔️   understand the similarities and the differences between requirements of the mathematics specification and the requirements of the mathematical content in the science specifications

    ✔️   develop ideas of what makes good mathematics teaching

    ✔️   master approaches to teaching mathematical topics common to the mathematics and science curricula

    ✔️   explore , develop and implement practical, sustainable models for departments working together

    ✔️   create a joint action plan to be implemented back in school

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