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O.R. in Schools – Teachers


Maths is used on almost a daily basis by everyone everywhere. In school, this is pretty obvious – we have maths lessons and so of course we use maths! But what happens when you’re not at school? Do you realise maths is fundamental for rollercoasters to stay on course upside, or that your luggage at the airport needs maths to arrive in the right place? 

O.R. is a ‘signpost’ career for young people who enjoy studying mathematics and problem solving but aren’t sure how they might use these skills in the workplace. The examples and materials we provide (for free!) are designed to help students and teachers by providing some great examples of maths being used to help solve ‘real-world’ problems and present O.R. as an interesting and fulfilling career.

Download the ORIS School Visit Request (above) send it back with a rough idea of dates and we’ll sort out a free visit to your school or college

Interactive Session

We run workshops using fun, interactive and engaging games to show you how playing with Lego  (and other great bits) can showcase the usefulness of maths and Operational Research (O.R.) in the real world. We run these workshops free of charge at enrichment events, STEM clubs and during  school lessons. Download the ORIS Outline of Workshops (above) for details of the five most popular workshops we run.

Case Studies

Wondering how Operational Research is used in the real world? If you want to know how maths is used by the Government or the National Air Traffic Services, we can help. We can provide a speaker from either industry or academia to talk about a recent project they’ve worked on and they can explain how they’re using maths and O.R. to make a difference.

Career Talks

But where would I work?

If students aren’t sure how they could use maths in the real world, why not get an OR in Schools volunteer in who can answer their questions? We have members who work in a huge variety of jobs and companies, spanning multiple industries. They’ll come in, talk about where they work, how they got there and hopefully inspire the students to take up a career using maths! For year 10’s / 11’s and sixth form students, this can be really beneficial as it opens their eyes to a career they may not have previously been aware of.

We also have an annual careers fair held in Birmingham

The Maths Community

Since OR is so deeply embed within maths, we play an active role in the maths community. We provide input on policies as well as sponsoring mathematical events (such as the UK Greenwich Maths Festival 2017 and the UKMT Summer Schools) and running interactive maths workshops (most recently for the FMSP development day). Additionally we regularly attend events and conferences – such as the MEI conference where we exhibit every year and the ATM / MA branch meetings where we build our networks with teachers across the country.

We are also a participating member of The Joint Mathematical Council (JMC) which meets three times a year and serves as a forum, to advance mathematics education. We are attending and exhibiting at the BCME conference in April 2018.

Within the wider STEM community, we have links with the STEM Learning Centre in York and encourage all volunteers to become a STEM Ambassador. Any member or individual can register free of charge as a STEM Ambassador and become part of a huge community which encourages young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Any outreach activity then completes on behalf of The OR Society (such as a careers talk, careers fair or workshop) will count as a STEM activity and can be recorded on your online log.

CPD For Teachers

Throughout the year, we run CPD for teachers that lasts ½ a day and allows you to extend your maths knowledge and take fresh new ideas back to the classroom! The morning or afternoon is based around achieving the three areas detailed below:

  1. Broaden / deepen maths knowledge - understand what Operational Research is and the techniques it involves. Understand the background and aims of the O.R. in Schools (ORiS) initiative
  2. Relate theory to practice - Focus on application of maths to real life by demonstrating where O.R. is used in the real world (including using physical resources such as Lego to demonstrate this) and providing examples.
  3. Allow group reflection time – to reflect on how they found it, how their students would find it and how it can be used in class.


“Sessions were fun, interactive and engaging. Fantastic resources and great delivery. Content was fully relatable to school maths. Nice extension opportunities. – Mounts Bay Academy, Cornwall (2017)

“Liked the hands on learning, linking maths and especially algebra to real life situations. Linked in a lot of topics. Worksheets and presentation flowed very well.” – Abbeyfield School, Northampton (2017)

“Excellent to have an interactive activity that the students could carry out. They engaged with it positively and then developed it into an understanding of Operational Research. Excellent to have someone who could give real life examples of application” – Big Bang Workshop, London (2017)

"Thank you for visiting JHGS yesterday and giving such an interesting and informative talk on careers using Maths in Operational Research and how it is used to solve real-life, everyday problems.

Few students were aware of how they could use maths in the work place and your talk really helped them understand the type work that is undertaken on a day to day basis and the challenges, opportunities and enjoyment of math based career.

Having spoken to students who attended, I am aware that they gained a great deal from your talk and have a much better knowledge about what roles are available in the workplace which will assist them greatly in researching their long term career plans." - Teacher, High Wycombe (2017)

“Good content, mix of slides and video clips. He was well prepared – informative and interesting. Thank you.” – Careers Advisor, High Wycombe (2017)

"Maths was not my favourite subject at school but I found seeing the application of maths to making business decisions fascinating."