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Game on: Cardiff University Professor shares love of STEM with local children at Bargoed library games day

8 March 2023

Maths games at Bargoed library
Maths games at Bargoed library

Swapping screens for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) games, Professor Federica Dragoni engaged a busy Bargoed library of school children with the fun of maths through play, in a bid to cement the joy of numbers.

Children from the local area, including nearby St Gwladys Primary and Heolddu Comprehensive, attended the event in January, which ran from 10am to 4pm and took over two of the library’s floors, in a mammoth celebration of games. Instead of engaging solo using screens, the sessions were designed for children to chat in person and collaborate with their peers over puzzles packed with educational value.

Bringing along her own games and her boundless enthusiasm for maths education, Professor Dragoni included games about fractions in a medley of maths challenges as she used the day to share that maths is a dynamic and versatile subject. Professor Dragoni particularly emphasised how the club can reach children who previously thought they didn’t like the subject.

“Children grow up disliking mathematics because there is never a fun part where you play with what you have learned,” Dr Dragoni outlined that supporting the role of clubs like these helps to demonstrate the possibilities for creativity within mathematics to young learners.

As STEM jobs continue to increase, 43% of those jobs are difficult to fill, according to the UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey 2013. Bringing children onboard with maths education is a critical step in filling the roles in our future economy; enthusing them to engage with mathematics, and breaking down the barriers that stop them beginning or returning to maths education throughout their lives.

The Club is continuing, with the next session taking place in Bargoed Library on March 25 from 10am to 4pm.

To find out more, please visit the Caerphilly Table Top & Gamer’s Society Facebook page.

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