Meet Dan Russell, Assistant Subject Leader of Maths
Why did you decide to start teaching at the UTC?
I decided to teach at the UTC because I wanted to help those studying A Level Maths understand how they can apply what they learn to their engineering studies and the relevance of what they learn.
What is it that interests you about your subject/area?
What I find interesting about Maths is the many approaches that can be used to solve the problem at hand – there’s never just one way to find to find the answer.
It’s also great to see the satisfaction on the students faces when they ‘get it’ and the new skill finally clicks!
What have you noticed since working at the UTC?
UTC Leeds is smaller than most colleges – it has a great sense of community, there is a good buzz around the place and people smile!
What are your ambitions for your department/subject?
I would like to see even more students taking A Level Maths and Further Maths – so they can explore the subject in a way that gives them a sense of gratification and turn up to lessons looking forward to solving more problems.
What kind of projects do the students work on in your subject?
We’ve had a few projects within Maths during my time at the UTC, most notably the ‘Robot Maths’ which is run in conjunction with the University of Leeds. Students design and construct a robot that must overcome several obstacles and learn how to put components together in order to make the robots move as they then race them!
We have also had great success from entering students into Maths Challenge events, both individual and team competitions. We had a clean sweep at a regional competition last year, and this year we have had a record number of students gaining certificates at the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Challenges.
What has been your highlight of working at the UTC?
The highlight is turning up every day and enjoying teaching a great bunch of students with diverse backgrounds and interests.
What do you think are the strengths of a UTC?
The UTC has strengths in its teachers’ willingness to help others, in the students we recruit that come with a desire to better themselves and learn skills that cannot be taught at other establishments, and a common goal that drives all members towards improving the employability chances for all.
Why should students come to the UTC?
Students should consider studying at UTC Leeds because of its great engineering capabilities, the opportunity to be around like-minded students, and work with experienced members of staff that have their best interests at heart and share a thirst for engineering.