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Real life maths - Mel Watson

Mel Watson is a Biomedical Scientist at the University Hospitals Bristol Foundation NHS Trust and a STEM Ambassador. Her area of specialism is Haematology – the study of blood cells. She is responsible for ensuring accurate and quality assured diagnostic reports from biological specimens, mainly blood samples, for her medical colleagues to use to diagnose, treat and monitor patients.

In this challenge students work with decimals to convert blood cell counts per litre into counts for a smaller sample that is suitable for modern automated blood count machines. Students will multiply and divide with decimal numbers, convert between different units and forms of notation, use percentages to calculate acceptable errors and apply their understanding to compare samples of varying sizes in a range of alternative blood count machines.

KS3 maths curriculum links:

• Express known relations, including spatial generalisations, algebraically using accurate notation, including prioritisation of operations.

• Begin to model simple contextual and subject-based problems algebraically.

Other subject links:

Biology - blood.

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