Ronnie Hammarström, an engineer at Business Area Dynamics, co-founded the maths club in the spring of 2016, where interested school pupils aged 8-13 have been learning more about mathematics. The purpose of the maths club, which is conducted as an extracurricular class in Karlskoga, Dynamics’ main base, is to learn how to deal with different maths and physics assignments. Frequently, the subjects are completely different to what the pupils work on at school.
“What we do uniquely is that we do the calculations together with the students. Either together or in smaller groups. We do everything from cracking crypto and creating our own games to working with estimation theory, which involves estimating an unknown value using different methods. In other words, we try some new and different things compared to everyday school. We think this gives the pupils an extra dimension in their approach to maths and technology," says Ronnie Hammarström.
Four engineers from Dynamics currently participate in the club and are assisted by a handful of interested secondary school students from Karlskoga and students from Örebro University. An average of 15 pupils take part in a voluntary lesson one afternoon a week.
“We have a good number of pupils attending every term, who receive an enormous amount of help and support during these sessions, as there is about one adult to every one or two children. This means that every pupil can get all the help they need, which we believe makes learning easier for them. It also means that we can test out some more advanced things together and discuss much more than if there had been more students and fewer adults,” says Ronnie Hammarström.
Cooperation is the key
For Ronnie, cooperation with other organizations is extremely important in order to secure as broad a knowledge base as possible, but also to draw others’ attention to how important the subject is.
“It's not just Dynamics that stands behind the initiative with the maths club. The schools in Karlskoga, Karlskoga Municipality and Örebro University also contribute from their side. From Örebro University, there are a number of students who take part and they have a huge reserve of knowledge and new perspectives. Knowledge we engineers don’t always have. Together with others we can help these pupils succeed in mathematics because it is incredibly important, not only for us as a company but also for Sweden as a country. That we contribute to this end is only natural. The fact that it’s also great fun for us adults is just a bonus!”
The maths club will continue through the spring, and Ronnie is looking forward to continuing to teach students to think in new ways.
“It's always great fun to go to these meetings and we can only encourage other companies and organisations to do the same thing. It benefits everyone, absolutely," he concludes.