The Kingfisher Centre at Futures Park in Bacup recently played host to over fifty student delegates from all over Lancashire focussing on STEP maths – the maths needed for entry to universities such as Cambridge or Warwick.

This was the 2nd annual STEP conference organised by Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School for Lancashire schools with sixth forms. The conference comes as an outcome of the Grammar school’s status as a Specialist Mathematics and Computing College.

The first stage of one of the problems the students studied was the following:

“The first question on an exam paper was where a and b are non zero real numbers. One candidate writes x = a + b as the solution. Show that there are no values for a and b for which this will give the correct answer.”

A solution can be found here