Pupils get on board in honour of inspirational mathematicians

Councillor Alan Clark and girls from Whitemoor Academy naming a tram

While children across the world were celebrating literacy, science and maths as part of World Education Games Day today (Wednesday 14 October), ten pupils from Nottingham’s Whitemoor Academy were honouring two local mathematicians, Ada Lovelace and George Green, by helping name trams in their honour.

The event took place at the Wilkinson Street depot, where the pupils also got a tour of the trams.

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron, and is an inspirational female figurehead whose work is thought to have included the world’s first computer programming, a century ahead of its time. Born in 1815, Ada died of cancer in 1852, and is buried beside her father at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham.

George Green was born in 1793. Many of the mathematical techniques invented by Green are still widely used in physics and engineering today. Despite having very little formal schooling, he still managed to teach himself enough mathematics to eventually study at Cambridge, aged 40. Green also has family links to Green’s Windmill in Sneinton, Nottingham which was built in 1807 by his father. Green worked at the mill and took ownership of it on his father’s death in 1829. Today, the restored windmill is a museum, inspiring the next generation of scientists and mathematicians.

Judi O’Leary, Headteacher at the Whitemoor Academy, said: “I’m proud that our pupils were involved in the naming of these two trams – it was a truly special occasion, especially as Ada Lovelace and George Green are such fantastic role models for our children. I hope our young people will be inspired by the impact they had on education, laying the foundation for much of the maths and computing we use and learn today. In the modern world of celebrities, I’m pleased that school children have the opportunity to look up to people who made a more significant contribution to education in our city.”

Councillor Jane Urquhart, with lead responsibility for NET at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are really proud to be honouring the achievements of both Ada Lovelace and George Green. Both have contributed so much to the world of science and mathematics and are a true inspiration to the next generation.

“Ada is a real ambassador for the achievements of women, and this is a fitting tribute in the year which marks 200 years since her birth, while George was a local boy whose determination and dedication lead to great things and his work is now celebrated and recognised.”

NET Marketing Manager Jamie Swift said: “There were a number of nominations for both Ada and George which demonstrates they are still remembered by local people for their achievements.”

NET is naming all 22 of its new trams after legendary characters and local heroes to celebrate the contribution certain individuals have made to the city. Trams have already been named after Robin Hood, volunteer Homestart heroine Mavis Worthington and cricketer Stuart Broad, for example.

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