Western Sydney students have fun exploring Math IT

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More than 120 Year 7 and 8 students from Western Sydney high schools participated in an academic enrichment day that focuses on Maths and Information Technology at the University of Western Sydney’s Penrith campus.

Math IT 2013 provides students with hands-on experience across a range of exercises and challenges linked to maths and computing.

Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, Anne McLean, says building interest and capacity in Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology is a priority area for the University’s Schools Engagement program.

“The event is now in its fourth year and every year more schools and students take part,” says Ms McLean.

“Math IT gives talented students the chance to meet academics and researchers from computing and maths, and raises their awareness of the exciting and diverse opportunities in these fields while they are still in the junior years of high school.”  

“We hope they will continue to enjoy these subjects and make them a focus leading into senior high school and beyond.”

Dr Tara Hamilton, a senior research lecturer from the MARCS Institute at UWS gave the keynote address on ‘Maths - It Adds Up!’

Following the opening session the students were split into groups and rotated through five, 35 minute interactive activities with each group assigned a UWS student as a guide.

Activities were run by staff from the UWS School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics and Schools Engagement, and included:

• Rubik’s Cube: Patterns and Solutions – Associate Professor Leanne Rylands
• Maths 4 Graphics – Dr Quang Vinh Nguyen
• Digitising the World – Dr Laurence Park
• Robot Challenge –  Ms Nicolle Fowler with Mr Zay Aung
• The Mathematics Amazing Race – Ms Anne McLean and UWS students

Ms McLean says often students don’t realise how many real-world applications maths actually has, or the number of rewarding careers it underpins.

“Fostering a deeper interest now in Maths and IT and showing students how important these areas are will benefit them in the future as they progress to further study and careers.”

Western Sydney schools that participated in Math IT this year:

  • Caroline Chisholm College
  • Colyton High School Trade School
  • Cranebrook High School
  • Erskine Park High School
  • Greystanes High School
  • Jamison High School
  • Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Penrith Anglican College
  • Penrith High School
  • Rooty Hill High School
  • Seven Hills High School
  • St Agnes Catholic High School
  • Xavier College

6 November 2013
Contact: Tanya Patterson, Media Officer
Photos By: Nic Smith

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