Sign Out
Logged In:
Tab Image

O.R. in Schools – Volunteers


We have three key groups of people involved in OR in Schools – volunteers (that’s hopefully you!), teachers and students. Simply download the ORIS Volunteer Sign Up Form (above) and we’ll register you on the database, send you our volunteering handbook and email you our monthly volunteering newsletter.

What would a visit involve?

A visit may involve delivering a short presentation and career talks to students about what O.R. is and how it can be used. Alternatively, you may choose to accompany The OR Society when attending Careers Fairs to speak to students about your career, how you got there, and what maths you use.  Read below for the most common requests we get:


  1. Careers fairs - these involve attending a local school or university and being an exhibitor. The idea here is to man a stand and chat to interested students about what you do / where you work / how you got into OR. Generally these run from 11am until 3pm during the day. We will provide you with all the equipment such as tablecloth, banners, flyers, pens and keyrings etc.
  2. Careers Talk – this involves talking to a group of school, college or university students about your experience. This is more formal than a careers fair and you are likely to have somewhere between 10 minutes to 40 minutes to talk about what you do. This could be in the daytime or evening. We have PPT templates, example talks and assistance to help you prepare for these events.
  3. Maths workshop – This is where you would run an interactive exercise, demonstrating a real life application of OR (which has been simplified for student use). We have all the resources for this – including interactive exercises, complete instructions and worksheets / answersheets.
  4. Big Bang Fairs – A cross between a careers fair and maths workshops. You will be exhibiting and talking to students but also providing them with interactive exercises to have a go out. Always great fun! We provide you with all materials for this.

What about the resources?

We’ll provide you with all the resources you need to attend a careers fair, school visit or university talk. If you’re attending a careers fair to promote O.R. we can provide you with pens, keyrings, DVDs and flyers for you to hand out (we find freebies always go down well with students!). We also have banners and promotional material to ensure everyone knows you’re representing The OR Society. If you’re visiting a school and running a workshop, again we will provide you with all the equipment you need including Lego bricks, worksheets and everything else. (The resources that have been developed for the workshops are all based on real projects and have been adapted to make the suitable for school use. They are tried and tested and are “off-the-shelf” resources, meaning there’s minimal prep involved).

Time Commitment

The OR Society understands that your time is valuable and as such, we only require you to volunteer once per year. Of course, you are welcome to volunteer more frequently than this and we find that most volunteers love attending events and find it very beneficial to their development so get involved with events every couple of months.  


We offer regular 2 hour face to face training up and down the country, where you have the opportunity to meet other volunteers, learn the materials in a fun and friendly environment and get a brief overview of what we’re all about. We promise it will be lots of fun, and will equip you with the skills you need to run these workshops.

Upcoming Training Sessions:

  1. Leicester STEM Hub – Monday 29th October
  2. Swindon – Thursday 15th November
  3. Cheshire STEM Hub – Thursday 22nd November
  4. The OR Society offices (Birmingham) – Wed 12th December
  5. London STEM Learning Hub,  Moorgate (London) – Thursday 31st January
    Time TBC

We offer this training to volunteers to enable them to deliver fun activities in school that show how maths and OR can be used in the 'real world! No prior experience is necessary - just enthusiasm to show young people how important maths and Operational Research are.


“What I loved was the friendliness of staff and fellow stall owners at the venue, as well as the politeness and enthusiasm of the students" - Liverpool Hope University

“It was well co-ordinated” - UKMT Circles

“The teacher and student were really committed , interested and engaged. In the second session we even talked about shortest path, travelling salesman problem, simulation, queuing theory and dynamic programming!” – UTC Warrington

“Video was brilliant and handouts were popular. Really useful resources” – Careers Talk, High Wycombe School (2017)

“Went really well, and really enjoyed it” – Manchester Met University (2017)

“It was heart warming and exhausting! So many children!! The puzzles went down a treat and we used them to talk about problem solving and resilience and looking at hints from different perspectives etc.” – Big Bang Fair, 2017

“There was genuine interest in the variety of OR work. The engagement of the students was brilliant” – Lancaster Uni (2017)