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Thanks to all of the entrants for their posters. We received lots of amazing entries and picking the winners was very tricky.

Years 7 – 8


Years 9 – 11

Years 12 – 13







“The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics” – Galileo Galilei, Italian Scientist

What can you discover when you go outside?  You might be in your garden, local park or even on your balcony.

We want you to use maths to find out something new about your surroundings.

We want you to use your skills with data and statistics to analyse your surroundings and tell us something interesting.

 Here are some ideas to get you started. Remember – you should try and choose a different question – choosing a unique question could even make your poster stand out more to the judges! However you can use one of our questions if you need to.


Health and Safety Message…

Don’t do anything dangerous while investigating your Maths Outside question.  Don’t pick wildflowers, disturb or damage wildlife – use your common sense! Wash your hands!


Type One Question (You can investigate in under an hour)

  • Spend a length of time sat in a quiet place outside – count the number of different types of animals/insects you see.
  • Turn over each plant pot in your garden and log the types of creatures found.
  • If you live near a road, safely count the types of vehicles which go past – what do you notice, what do you want to find out?
  • Without going near them – spend an hour in your local park – which breeds of dog do you see? (Knowledge of dogs required!)
  • Make a square frame 20cm by 20cm out of cardboard and then use it to sample your lawn or parkland – how many daisies are found – is there a pattern?
  • If your garden suffers from dandelions – pick as many as you can and measure their length (which is the tallest)?  (Ask an adult first.)
  • Read about types of clouds – work out an experiment that investigates what types of clouds you can see in the sky.


Type Two Question (You will need to track these over time)

  • Go to the park at different times of day – how many joggers do you see? You could also log how many dogs/ children/ skateboarders etc. (Keep your distance.)
  • Write down the temperature each day at 9am for a week or longer.  Write down the temperature every hour for a whole day 7am – 7pm.
  • Look at the traffic for 10 minutes, several times in a day and count how many delivery vans you see – is there a pattern?
  • Make up your own questions about exercise in the outdoors.  For example do 30 star jumps – how long does it take you?  Repeat at different times of day / do you notice anything?
  • Measure the growth of different weeds or plants over the period of a week or longer.   Pick your favourite flowering plant and log how many flowers it has each day over time.


Poster instructions/criteria:


  • Your poster should contain your table of results
  • Your poster should display your data in 3 different ways, e.g. Line graph, Pie Chart etc. Make sure they are suitable ways to represent your data.
  • You must clearly state the question you are investigating.
  • You must write a paragraph to explain your conclusion – what did you find out? The graphs on their own will not be enough – you need to have a conclusion.
  • You can calculate extra statistics if they are suitable such as the mean.
  • It sounds obvious, but your poster should be a poster, it needs to be visually eye catching and should give out a strong message.
  • You can draw your poster by hand; use a computer; or a mixture of both. If you draw your poster you will need to scan or photograph it to enter – online submissions only.
  • The judges will be paying close attention to the quality of the charts and graphs – did you label each axis, include a title or key – and did you use a scale that made sense?
  • Your poster must be A4 size.


Poster Guidance

 To get you started please take a look this PowerPoint.


There will be three categories for judging:

Years 7 and 8

Years 9, 10 and 11

Years 12 and 13

WordPress Data Table Plugin


The winning posters from students in each category will receive an Android tablet. There will also be five ‘highly commended’ certificates awarded in each group.

All winning and highly commended posters will be on display on the Maths Careers website.

The closing date is 30th September – this date allows you to complete your posters during the summer holidays and then gives you time to send them in.

Winners will be announced here during October.

Entries need to be submitted online – To enter complete the form below:

Are submitting a

Maximum file size: 314.57MB


There are lost of ways you can make a poster online. Some resources include:

Adobe Collage Maker

Google Docs

Google Slides



Poster Competition Rules

  1. The promoters of the competition are the sponsors of the Maths Careers website
  2. It is a condition of entry of this competition that all entrants agree to these competition rules. By permitting their children to enter the competition parents and guardians shall be deemed to consent to the entries being submitted on the terms of these competition rules.
  3. The competition is open to entrants between the ages of 11 and 19 who are residents of the United Kingdom.
  4. No purchase is necessary to enter the competition.
  5. There are three entry categories, based upon the ages of the entrants: Years 7 – 8, Years 9 – 11 and Years 12 – 13. One prize will be awarded for the winner of each category and there will be ‘Highly Commended’ certificates awarded in each age group.
  6. Entries can be submitted via the relevant mechanisms on the website.
  7. Posters must be A4 printed size only. Postal entries will not be entered into the competition if they are any other size.
  8. The poster must be solely the original work and the property of the entrant.
  9. Any poster that has won a prize in another competition is not eligible and will be disqualified if entered.
  10. Entrants may submit no more than one entry which must be made in their applicable age category only. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
  11. The promoters’ decision on all matters relating to the competition is final. No correspondence will be entered into concerning the judgement, administration or organization of the competition, including any assessment of the eligibility of any entry submitted.
  12. Winners will be announced on the website in October 2020. Individual winners will be notified by the promoters before the end of October 2020
  13. By entering a poster, participants agree to grant IMA MathsCareers free of charge the right to use the photo in any manner and media, including without limitation, the right to publish, adapt, distribute, copy, display or translate in printed or electronic media even if they are not the winning entries.
  14. It is a condition of entry to the competition that entrants (or the parents or guardians of entrants) irrevocably permit the promoters and their licensees to copy, reproduce and publish entries in connection only with the promotion of and publicity for this competition and the winning entries.
  15. The closing date for entries to the competition is midnight on 30th September 2020. Entries received after that date will not be accepted, displayed or judged.
  16. No responsibility will be accepted by the promoters for entries which are lost, late, corrupted, incomplete, defaced, ineligible or otherwise do not comply with these rules (any of which may be deemed invalid at the sole discretion of the promoters).
  17. The prizes are as stated in the competition rules. Prizes are non-refundable and not transferable. No cash alternative will be offered. The promoters reserve the right to substitute the prizes (or any part of them) for prizes of equivalent or greater monetary value if that is necessary for reasons beyond their control.
  18. The promoters will not be liable for prizes that do not reach prize winners for reasons beyond the promoters’ reasonable control. If prize winners cannot be traced after reasonable effort the promoters will dispose of prizes as they think fit without liability to prize winners.
  19. The promoters reserve the right to cancel or amend the competition, at any time without prior notice.
  20. This competition is governed by the laws of English and Wales and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

Image Credit – Featured image by Night Glow on Unsplash