Maths educator Bobby Seagull is Potential Plus UK’s newest Ambassador.  Co-presenter of the podcast @MathsAppeal, and of the BBC TV Series Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Great Britain he is also author of The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers and co-author of The Monkman & Seagull Quiz Book, as well as a regular contributor to Radio Four’s PuzzleForToday and a columnist for the Financial Times.

Fingers on buzzers, here’s your University Challenge starter for ten question.

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious”.

These are the words of which British physicist, author of “A Brief History of Time” who died in 2018?

It’s the late Professor Stephen Hawking (I’m sure you knew that!). Despite the significant physical challenges posed by motor neurone disease, the curiosity of his mind allowed him to develop our understanding of our place in the cosmos.

Having been delighted to join as an Ambassador for Potential Plus UK, my first duty is to write a blog. There is perhaps no better topic to begin with than curiosity, particularly with the Be Curious Weekend about to take place.

Curiosity has played an important part in my childhood. Every Saturday afternoon, our dad took my brothers and me on our weekly pilgrimage to our local and beautiful Victorian red brick building, East Ham library.

We passed many hours sprawled on the floor, consuming books on everything from engineering marvels to Greek mythology to the fiction of Roald Dahl. As a school teacher, I might ask what was the learning objective of our visits? The purpose of our trips was just for us to read about our interests and see where our curiosity and serendipity took us – like on an Alice in Wonderland reading adventure.

If Bobby the 1990s’ child was transported in a DeLorean car (“Back to the Future” style) time travel machine to 2019, he would be pleading with his dad to take him to Potential Plus UK’s Be Curious Weekend! Not only is it set in the aesthetically pleasing surroundings of Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire, but the activities ranging from historical experiences to competitive constructions can spark the curiosity of children and parents alike.

The Potential Plus UK Be Curious Weekend takes place Saturday and Sunday annually during May. For more information about our online and in-person events see our Events Calendar