Enter the BSHM Schools Writing Prize!

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Mathematics has a history of changing the world. But have you ever wondered how maths was first applied to medicine, architecture, engineering or any other part of our lives?


What has mathematics made possible?

Every year the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) gives prizes for the best essays or presentations on some aspect of the history of mathematics. This year they are asking you to produce a piece about the history of applied mathematics. For example, you might explain something interesting or unexpected about how mathematics and medicine interact, or how maths is used in engineering, or how it's made innovations in architecture possible. No topic in applied mathematics is off limit, but your story should relate to a real historical development or event.

The BSHM believes that understanding where mathematics comes from and who has contributed to the development of mathematical ideas is an important part of understanding mathematics today. BSHM, working with Plus, invites secondary school students to explore this question and communicate their findings for a wide audience. You could write an article (around 1000 words in length), or you could make a presentation, film or song of an equivalent length. Or you could even make a submission in some other medium we haven't thought of! You can find all details and guidelines at the BSHM website.

The competition is open to all young people aged 11 to 15 and 16 to 19 who are in secondary education. A number of monetary prizes will be awarded, depending upon the quality and the number of entries. The maximum prize will be £100. And as well as financial rewards, you also get a free subscription to the wonderful BSHM for a year!

The deadline for entries is midnight on 15th July 2021. All the info about how to submit your entry and where to ask questions is on the BSHM website.

We are very much looking forward to reading / watching / listening to your submissions! Good luck!

  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.