Maths in the Real World: Ingenious Geometers

Session details


Delivery: Museum based

Curriculum Links: Maths (applications of geometry), science, history (exploration)

Key Stage 3: Suitable for Years 8 & 9

Length of session: 75-90 minutes

Maximum group size: 30 students


In this session students will:


  • Discover the use of geometry in maritime navigation
  • Handle historical navigational instruments
  • Solve a real-world mathematical challenge


In this session, we look at the use of simple geometry in solving ‘real-world’ problems.

We will discover the art of navigation as ships in centuries past embarked on perilous journeys into the unknown.

Students will enjoy a boardgame trail to find objects and will have the opportunity for hands-on discovery of navigational instruments from the Museum’s collection.

We will also learn about Christopher Wren and the use of geometry in surveying and architecture.

The students will set an outdoors challenge to solve using measurement and geometry and will be encouraged to reflect on the problems of measuring in the real world.

This session links with a session at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.