SAS Curriculum Pathways tackles need for vital maths skills
Success in algebra critical to future science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) careers
06 September 2012 - SAS Curriculum Pathways has launched a free Algebra 1 course, to supplement what it has already been providing for 11 to 19-year-old students since its launch in March, giving them the opportunity to build on key STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills. These skills are in short supply in the UK at present; in particular the shortage of people with maths skills integral to many industries.
A recent study conducted by KPMG revealed that around 15 million adults in the UK have numeracy skills equivalent or below those of an 11-year-old school child. This failure to master basic numeracy skills is costing the UK economy up to £2.4 billion each year. This study comes as the current National Curriculum learning systems for maths lessons in schools have been criticised for not providing a sufficiently well rounded programme to develop key skills, in particular within mathematical reasoning.
Algebra 1, the latest release from SAS Curriculum Pathways, aims to tackle some of the issues surrounding maths in the current National Curriculum by offering an interactive learning platform designed to help students in this area. Offering explanations of mathematical concepts using familiar terms, it uses a wide range of learning media, such as video and audio, to prompt students to engage with the programmes and develop the skills so desired within industry.
Relevant to secondary level maths, key stages 3 to 5, Algebra 1 is presented as a process logically guiding students through the use of algebraic functions and offering problem solving opportunities in 50 separate activities. These take students though basic equation solving, exploring functions, systems of linear equations and solving and graphing quadratic functions, all of which have been specifically designed to enhance the learning experience.
Geoffrey Taylor, Academic Programme Manager at SAS UK & Ireland, comments: "These new figures surrounding the lack of maths skills in the UK are concerning. With the growing amount of Big Data being generated a strong numerical understanding is vital for providing the basis for many careers within the growing business analytics sector, an area where SAS is a market leader. Algebra 1 is providing students with the building blocks to develop a key understanding of maths which may help to produce the analysts of the future for SAS and our clients."
Algebra 1 is designed to be integrated into lesson plans in schools throughout the UK, supporting the current learning requirements of the National Curriculum and offering a wide range of activities which address the learning needs of students.
SAS Curriculum Pathways is a free online resource for secondary school teachers and students, focused on core STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Specifically designed for 11 to 19-year-olds, including GCSE and A Level students, it comprises interactive tools, web lessons, enquiries and audio tutorials in an easy to use learner-centric format. More than 150 UK schools have already signed up for the resource.
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