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MEM Masterclasses 2020 – This will be our 30th Year!

Because of the impact of COVID-19 we are hoping that a reduced programme of 3 Saturdays can be arranged this year, starting after October half-term.

This is conditional upon the UK government’s guidelines on personal safety and social distancing being met, and the host institutions’ policies at the time. Should cancellation of an event become necessary, as much notice as possible will be given via this website. Please check this page for further announcements.

The 2020 dates and venues are expected to be:

  7th November (Liverpool Hope University) not yet confirmed
21st November (Ridgeway High School) not yet confirmed
  5th December (University of Liverpool)
not yet confirmed

We are strictly limited by space to 60 pupils and places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Act promptly to avoid disappointment. In recent years the classes have been over-subscribed.

There are 44 places remaining on 15th July 2020

To apply for 2020 Masterclass places CLICK HERE

Teachers may nominate up to four pupils from their school to take part in the Masterclasses, at a cost to the school of £20 per pupil. The pupils must be in Year 8 or 9 during 2020/21, and must not have attended a previous MEM Masterclass series.

Please do not promise masterclass places to pupils. We request that schools ensure that pupils understand that they are expected to attend all three of the listed dates, and do not nominate pupils who will have conflicting commitments on those dates. Schools are required to make a contribution of £20 per pupil towards running costs, and places are non-refundable and non-transferable. Successful applications will be acknowledged as promptly as possible to both teachers and parents.We may reach our maximum capacity of 60 before the deadline, so please don’t delay applications or returning consent forms.

What are the MEM Masterclasses?

The Masterclasses run on three alternate Saturdays during the autumn term, and provide an excellent opportunity for able and enthusiastic pupils from all over the North West to meet up and explore mathematical ideas. Each Masterclass consists of two sessions, one either side of a break for lunch. There are light refreshments in the morning and afternoon, but pupils must bring their own packed lunch. Speakers come from the local mathematical community and some from farther afield, with each session exploring a different area of mathematics. Topics covered have been very varied, ranging from mechanics and juggling to codes and ciphers, and the sessions are designed to be as interactive as possible. PGCE trainees from Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University support the sessions, as do undergraduate students of Mathematics from the University of Liverpool.

How are the MEM Masterclasses funded?

MEM’s Masterclasses began in 1991. They are modelled on the Royal Institution series, and were initially sponsored by them, but now some sponsorship comes from the Liverpool Mathematical Society. The three universities in Liverpool provide hosting facilities and staffing for the sessions. We ask that schools make a small contribution of £20 per pupil towards the overall running costs of the series, for which the school will be invoiced by MEM. Ideally, schools will meet this cost from school funds – for example, from their G&T budget – to ensure that no pupils who wish to attend are disadvantaged by this charge.

When and where are the MEM Masterclasses held?

There are three Masterclasses in total, spread across the campuses of the three Liverpool universities, giving pupils an opportunity to visit and experience all of them over the course of the series. Detailed information about precise venues and timings will be emailed to parents and teachers ahead of each date.

Who can attend the MEM Masterclasses?

Applications must be submitted via the school. Teachers may nominate up to four pupils from their school who will be in Y8 or Y9 during the 2020/21 academic year. Nominated pupils must not have attended a previous MEM Masterclass series. Teachers are not obliged to attend with their pupils, but are more than welcome to come along. Please just let us know if you plan to join us at any of the sessions, so that we know to expect you. We regret that parents, unfortunately, may not take part in the sessions. We attempt, where possible, to provide waiting facilities for parents who want those.

The 2012, 2015 and 2018 series of MEM Masterclasses were visited by a colleague from the Royal Institution who spent the day with us. Our activities were mentioned in the Royal Institution Spring 2013 Newsletter which you can view here