OxTALENT 2018 winners

Technology provides new possibilities for reaching audiences that are not normally reached through activities taking place at Oxford. This category rewards projects that have made an impact by engaging disadvantaged groups or geographically marginalised parts of the UK, and reach out to potential Oxford applicants online. The co-judges in this category were Sarah Gonsalves, Senior Head of Outreach, and Kate Lindsay, Academic IT.

Joint Winner:

Alex Pryce, Sarah Wilkin and Rebecca Costello for 'Oxplore: Oxford's digital outreach portal'

A screenshot of the oxplore website with a big question

Big questions like this one engage young online audiences in research at Oxford.

Oxplore is an innovative new digital outreach portal from the University of Oxford. As the ‘Home of Big Questions’ it aims to engage those from 11 to 18 years with debates and ideas that go beyond what is covered in the school classroom. Big questions tackle complex ideas across a wide range of subjects and draw on the latest research undertaken at Oxford. Oxplore aims to raise aspirations, promote broad thinking and stimulate intellectual curiosity.

screen shot of the Oxplore website showing six big questions

Oxplore is being used to underpin activities across the University's wider outreach programme

Oxplore reaches young people using the technologies they are familiar with from their leisure and study. It engages those who may be missed by traditional face-to-face outreach – particularly those from disadvantaged groups or geographically marginalised parts of the UK, and widens access to those who may not previously have considered Oxford.

Joint Winner:

Tom Crawford for 'Tom Rocks Maths'

With his work, Tom wants to remove the stereotypical image that the subject of maths has developed where it is seen as boring, serious and irrelevant to everyday life. By addressing each of these issues, he hopes to be able to improve people’s perception of the subject and as a result increase their involvement, engagement and enthusiasm towards maths.

a man talking in front of a blackboard with maths equations

In his YouTube videos, Tom answers interesting questions like 'What is the probability that I have the same PIN as someone else?', explaining mathematical concepts on the go.

Planning, producing, filming and editing his own material, Tom has created an online outreach portal to inspire and engage young people in maths. The judges commended his use of social and digital media to make maths more accessible by relating it the world around us and crowdsourcing questions and input into his work. Also known as ‘the naked mathematician’ Tom approaches the delivery of his online tutorials with a twist...

illustration 560x315 screen shot video tom rocks maths

In the I Love Mathematics series, Tom answers questions sent in and voted for by his followers.


Congratulations to our Outreach winners!

About this category

Outreach and widening participation activities deliver an important dimension of the University's work in raising aspirations, promoting diversity and encouraging people from non-traditional backgrounds to enter higher education. The University's core strategic priorities in this area of its work are set out in more detail in the Strategic Plan and Increasing Access Web pages. We welcome applications from staff and students who have made innovative use of technology to deliver exceptional outreach activities and to support learners from under-represented groups.

You are eligible to enter even if you've had professional help, but we ask you to let us know on the entry form what assistance you received. Find out how to enter.

What the judges will look for

Your entry will be assessed in terms of:

  • How clearly you have defined the purpose of your initiative/innovation, including the intended audience.
  • The extent to which the entry reflects University strategy in this field.
  • How innovative your entry is: i.e. how new it is in terms of outreach activities at Oxford.
  • How you designed and implemented your initiative/innovation.
  • Whether the innovation is suitable for the intended audience.
  • Evidence of impact (qualitative and/or quantitative).
  • How far you have considered the legacy or sustainability of the initiative.
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