The Pyramid Lamp and Mastering the Matrix

Senior STEM Camp for ages 8 to 17

3-6 April 2023: Face to Face at Francis Holland School, Sloane Square

39 Graham Terrace, SW1W 8JF


Inspired by the pyramids of ancient Egypt (and the Louvre Museum), our R&D team has created a camp project where participants aged 11 and over build, wire and code their own crystal Pyramid desk lamp. 

At the heart of the lamp is a programmable ESP8266 electronic chip. Pupils will learn how to develop a program in the Arduino C programming language and put this into practice to make their chip control the lighting output. 

The light source itself will be a full RGB matrix that sits below a crystal pyramid, illuminating the pyramid structure. Pupils will learn about and use Arduino IDE and specific software libraries to control the RGB lights. 

The algorithms campers develop will control various modes for lighting the pyramid, including kaleidoscopic patterns. In addition, the lamp will have a touch sensor so users can interact with the lamp via the sensor which will be connected to the chip and process signals from it. 

Pupils will enjoy the hands-on experience of assembling, wiring, programming and operating their lamps before taking them home at the end of the camp to demonstrate what they have learned.

Campers aged 10 and under will build their own ‘power station’. In this project, pupils will learn about the production of electricity, illustrated through their construction of a model ‘power station’ - in this case a hand cranked generator. 

Each pupil will build their own working model using pre-prepared components. These include a large flywheel to be turned by hand, belts and pulleys to be attached to drive a small generator and wiring to connect the generator to a light. 

As pupils turn their flywheel, it drives the spindle in their generator which in turn produces the electrical power needed to illuminate a lamp. 

In this fascinating physics and engineering project, pupils will learn the theory of electricity generation before putting their knowledge into practice. Each child can take home their completed model to demonstrate what they have learned and achieved.

As ever, participants will be divided into small classes of six or fewer, based on their age and experience in maths, programming and robotics.

In Maths, for all year groups, we will be running two separate maths classes each day to study: 

  • Data and Tables - Mastering the Matrix 
  • Extra Problem Solving at 9am - participants will tackle different levels of UKMT challenges from the Primary Maths Challenge and International Kangaroo up to more senior levels looking at Combinatorics, Number Theory and Senior UKMT challenges

Here’s what we are planning to do in Maths in each year group during the week:  

Year 3-4

Latin Squares, Magic Squares, a Knight’s Tour and puzzles about numbers in a grid. In problem solving, pupils will tackle questions from the UKMT Primary maths Challenge and International Kangaroo.

Year 5-6

The ‘Quest of Tables’: figuring out, analysing and creating patterns organised in a table. When playing a board game, working out a winning strategy. In problem solving, tables, games and logic in UKMT challenges.

Year 7-9

The ‘Quest of Tables’: creating a clever table to organise the data in a complex problem. Becoming a master of Magic Squares, working out the rule of sequences and tables of numbers. In problem solving we’ll be looking at sequences, tables, graphs and games in UKMT challenge questions.

Year 10-11

The ‘Quest of Tables’: creating a clever table to organise the data in a complex problem. Figuring out the rule of sequences and tables of numbers. How many faces does a five dimensional cube have? Using a matrix to describe transformations. In problem solving pupils will study sequences, tables in UKMT challenges, simultaneous systems of equations, co-ordinating geometry, transformations and matrices.

Format and fees for the senior face to face camp:

  • pupil to teacher ratio of 6:1
  • participants are taught in small groups, tailored by similarity of age and ability, in individual classrooms
  • camp times: 10am to 3pm
  • or from 9am for an extra hour of problem solving and/or from 3pm to 4pm with our chess class. There is a supplement of £25 for each additional session booked
  • fees are £490 for four days. It is not possible to join for a shorter period

Places are limited, please register your interest HERE.