Working hard to beat the statistics

CHOOSE MATHS: Students Phoebe Hunter, Jenna Glamuzina, Amelia Etchells, Maria Alboing, Alice Hubert and Lara Evans at Caritas Colleges' 'Girls Enjoying Maths Day'.
CHOOSE MATHS: Students Phoebe Hunter, Jenna Glamuzina, Amelia Etchells, Maria Alboing, Alice Hubert and Lara Evans at Caritas Colleges' 'Girls Enjoying Maths Day'.

School girls from around the Upper Spencer Gulf region have been encouraged to consider maths and science based career paths during a workshop at Caritas College.

The ‘Choose Maths Girls Enjoying Maths Day’ gave students a chance to work with local ‘champions’ in order to showcase a wide range of post-school options available to them. 

The national showcase event allowed students to hear from women who are working in fields which are enhanced through the continued study and application of mathematical skills. 

The students also participated in a range of practical activities designed to deepen their understanding of the many ways maths is applied in daily life and work.

Caritas College Principal Nichii Mardon said the school is proud to be partnering with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute and BHP to bring this opportunity to catholic schools from around the region.

“This is a day of exploration and engagement, of challenging perceptions and considering pathways and possibilities,” she said

“This particular event focuses on encouraging girls to engage more fully in maths and science at school — in response to national data that indicated this is an area of need — and is one element of the national five year partnership program our school has adopted.”

While the students were inspired by the many guest speakers teacher Jasmin Eckert said Engineer and Project Manager for BHP, Michelle Tracy, really made the girls switch on and realise where maths and science can take them in the future.

“She has done projects all over the world, so having her present here to our students has been very influential,” she said.

“It’s not just about developing mathematical minds, it is about developing their minds to believe that they can accomplish anything.”

Pheobie Hunter, a student at Caritas College is unsure what she would like to do in the future but said the workshop made her consider pursuing maths and science at a higher level to keep her options open.

“It opens up a lot of possibilities for the future that I hadn’t really thought of before and it has been really interesting hearing from people from all different walks of life,” she said.

In addition to student outreach events such as the Girls Enjoying Maths Day, the Choose Maths initiative also provides personal development and training for teachers and support officers. 

This ongoing support will see students from Caritas College benefit from the five year partnership well into the future as teachers become equipped with the tools they need to improve the math skills of their students.