Hearts kickabout with additional support pupils shows maths in new light

Students at Gorgie Mills tracked their movements during a special football session with the Edinburgh Premiership club.

Hearts team up with school for children with additional needs to help pupils see maths on new level STV News

Hearts have teamed up with a school for pupils with additional support needs to help encourage them to see maths on a whole new level.

Students at Gorgie Mills have been taking part in a special project with the Edinburgh Premiership club that uses trackers to record data about their movements.

The Hearts Innovation Centre encourages young people to consider careers in technology, by offering free STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) and digital education after-school clubs that cover a range of disciplines under the tech umbrella.

The aim is to provide a safe space and opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM such as BAME, ASN, females and non-binary students to engage in experiences that they may not necessarily otherwise receive.

As part of the project, pupils wore micro bit trackers while attending a day out at Tynecastle that allowed them to track their movements while playing football.

Kevin McPhee, a teacher at Gorgie Mills school, said: “Some of our students have social and emotional behavioural needs, some have autism, some have ADHD, some have a combination of all of those.

“I think what is really important is that as a school we are there to support them whatever their needs are.”

Robert Stack from the Hearts Innovation Centre said: “Something that can be a struggle is getting young people motivated and they may not be able to see the real-life applications of what they are doing in class.

“Data is obviously a form of mathematics so coming in to do some exercise, collecting their own data and letting them learn about how this is also being done by the men and women’s teams of Hearts Football Club is great because they can actually see how the data is being used and all the different benefits of it.”

One of those benefiting from the project is Conor Macdonald, a Gorgie Mills pupil living with autism.

He said: “I have been enjoying this quite a lot. I enjoy working with tech in general because you’re actually having to do more work with it and you can see the progress at the end.”

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