Wenona does the Maths
Our Maths Department has been busy this term, with a fun-filled incursion to promote collaboration and critical thinking, and an excursion to UNSW, which placed a career in Maths on student horizons.
Last week, Mr Newall, Head of Maths, and Ms McFetridge, Director of Student Opportunity and Career Education, headed off to UNSW with a group of Year 11 and 12 students for a Girls do the Maths Workshop, which gave them a whole new understanding of the many different career opportunities that a tertiary education in Maths and Statistics can bestow!
They heard from a range of speakers, including Professor Cheryl Praeger from the University of Western Australia, who delivered an inspiring talk about Maths as a superpower. Mr Miles Green from Animal Logic, a leading creative digital studio, delighted the students with a presentation about the mathematics underpinning film animation.
Following morning tea, the students were fascinated to hear from the 2018 Australian Girls’ Maths Olympiad Team, who spoke about their recent trip to the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad in Italy. And UNSW’s Dr Jan Zika gave a speech about using Maths to understand our changing planet, prompting some interesting questions from the crowd. After a campus tour and visit to a Maths lecture, the students had lunch followed by a Maths carnival in the Scientia foyer, featuring a range of interactive activities.
In the afternoon, Dr Susanna Cramb from the Queensland University of Technology, gave a fun and relevant talk entitled #YOLO #MakeItCount about her career as a statistician, which resonated strongly with our students. This was followed by a lively panel discussion with some of UNSW’s current female Maths students, with lots of opportunities for our girls to ask questions. Associate Professor Catherine Greenhill, who chaired the panel, then spoke about courses and programs in mathematics and statistics, giving our students lots to think about as they contemplate their futures.
As society becomes increasingly data driven, it’s important that our students develop their critical thinking in order to interpret data and solve complex problems in our changing world. The Year 8 Incursion, run by Ms Tskirikas and fellow Year 8 Maths teachers, was a fun way to engage our students in learning experiences that involved collaboration, creativity, analysis, evaluation and persistence. And chocolate! The girls were engaged and excited to test their skills and discover new ways of thinking. Here’s what Mimi (Year 8) had to say:
“Partnering in pairs completing patterns and puzzles for points. Challenges for chocolate. Last Friday’s Maths Incursion was not your typical Math class, but an interactive session using both knowledge and skill that was loads of fun. Two and a half hours went so quickly as the whole time we were running - whether it was to get a new challenge or to get some chocolate as quickly as we could.
This fun and interactive way of using maths skills and teamwork was very engaging. Working with my partner was a good experience for teamwork. It was a really fun day!”