Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Member of Parliament for Leeds West, Rachel Reeves took a break from campaigning for the upcoming Selby by-election on Friday and visited MathsCity, only to be challenged to a maths showdown with students from a secondary school in the Selby & Ainsty constituency!
A group of Year 7 pupils from Holy Family Carlton were enjoying a class visit as part of the school’s enrichment week and were delighted to meet the Shadow Chancellor, who enthusiastically explored the range of interactive exhibits, puzzles, and games at the maths discovery centre in Leeds.
A huge maths fan and former chess champion, Rachel competed in a lively game of Genius Square, going head-to-head with 12-year-old Ava. The game put their mathematical skills, problem-solving abilities and quick thinking to the test and ended with Rachel claiming victory!
“I was very pleased to visit MathsCity and to see the great work of the staff there,” said Rachel. “I was especially pleased to be joined by pupils and teachers from the Selby & Ainsty constituency.”
Invited by MathsCity’s CEO, Dr Katie Chicot, the Shadow Chancellor’s visit aimed to highlight the importance of promoting mathematics and numeracy skills among young people while showcasing the innovative learning experiences provided by the activity centre, which is funded by the charity MathsWorldUK.
“In the UK, we are at the bottom of the table in attitude to maths in secondary school children,” explained Katie. “Our mission is to tackle this anti-maths culture by boosting maths confidence through playful exploration and helping people discover the joy of maths.”
During her visit, Rachel discovered firsthand how MathsCity uses fun, hands-on maths to make the subject accessible and enjoyable for learners of all ages and abilities.
Showing her support for the charity’s goal to open the UK’s first national mathematics discovery centre, Rachel said: “Leeds is the largest city without a STEM discovery centre, and I fully support the efforts of MathsWorldUK as they look to set up a pioneering centre in our city.”
MathsCity has become a popular attraction for families and schools, welcoming over 22,000 visitors since it opened in October 2021 and inspiring people of all ages to develop a love for mathematics.
The charity is seeking government support and investment to achieve its ultimate goal of launching a national mathematics discovery centre, which will enable them to continue improving people’s relationship with maths.
Information about how to support MathsCity can be found online here.
Tickets to visit MathsCity can also be purchased on their website.