Schools Plus Competition

Schools Plus Competition

 

Call for submissions for the 2020 Prize

This year the competition call invites you to make a case for the most important mathematical topic you have come across in the history of mathematics. 

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without mathematics? And who are the people who make new mathematics and how they do it?

This competition is your chance to explore how mathematics has developed and achieved its status and who were the most important mathematicians in history who contributed to it. This year we would like you to concentrate on choosing one mathematical concept that has, in your opinion, been the most important mathematical discovery, and to make your case for it in your essay.

The British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) believes that understanding where mathematics comes from and who has contributed to the development of mathematical ideas is an important part of understanding mathematics today. BSHM, working with PLUS magazine, invites secondary school students to explore this question and communicate their findings for a wide audience (from the age of 11).

You could write an article (maximum 1500 words), make a short video (maximum ten minutes) or a multi-media project (maximum ten minutes).

The competition is open to all young people aged 11 to 15 and 16 to 19 who are in secondary education in UK and the Republic of Ireland.  A number of monetary prizes will be awarded, depending upon the quality and the number of entries. The maximum prize will be £100.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 11:59 pm. Entries should be submitted electronically using this form.

Winners will be notified to collect their prizes in London, at the Society’s Gresham College meeting in October 2020.

If you have had problems submitting your entry and need advice, please send the details to our Education Officer Dr Snezana Lawrence.

Previous years' winners

2018-19: Madi Scott, from Greenhead College Huddersfield, for an essay entitled A Proof of Euclid of Alexandria’s importance and influence within the field of Mathematics. No further prizes were awarded this year. 

2017-18: Pippa Wakelin from Kendrick School in Reading who won in the 11-15 category for her paper on the History and Uses of Infinity and Charles Austin, from Norwich School in Norwich, who won in the 16-19 category for his paper on Calculating Risk: Where would we be without the mathematics of risk?

2016-17Nicholas Munro (age 11-15  category) of the Sackville School, Kent, for an essay entitled A brief exploration of mathematical modelling, and Dougal Houston (age 16-19 category) of Godalming Sixth Form College, Surrey, for an essay entitled The pioneers of mathematics and where we would be without them.

2015-16 BSHM Schools Plus Competition was won by Chiara Falls, from Guildford UK, for an essay entitled Discovering Links Between Maths and Architecture. Chiara was presented with her prize at the BSHM meeting at Birkbeck, University of London on 21 May 2016.