On Friday the 7th of June 2019, a group of girls from Year 9 attended the Choose Maths Day at Melbourne University. We represented Buckley Park College and were joined by lots of other schools across Melbourne. The day aimed to encourage young girls to learn about the importance of maths, and why it is vital that more females should pursue careers in the STEM area. We, as a group, thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from the experience.
To begin our day, we received lectures from inspiring women who spoke about maths in their careers. They taught us that 75% of the fastest growing jobs in the future require STEM skills, and also many other intriguing statistics about maths and women working in this area.
One of the most noteworthy women speakers was Cristina Aponte. We had the privilege to learn about how maths influences her career. She grew up not being sure of what she wanted to do, apart from wanting to help with the environment. She was not aware that maths would be so heavily involved. It turns out that she was rejected several times by multiple people, yet she landed on a career in forest science. Her advice was to never give up, to follow your dreams and to embrace the maths.
As well as lectures, we partook in numerous activities. These had to do with maths and next level thinking. Each activity challenged us to think outside of the box with our maths in different ways. An activity was using maths to answer questions about a house of cards. Each small group from each school wrote their thinking onto an A3 piece of paper. We had a chance to tour around and look at how other people figured out certain problems and answered certain questions. This was very insightful and encouraged us to broaden our minds and reflect on different ways to approach problems.
Another activity that we all enjoyed included the creation of 3D shapes using supplied materials. We were challenged to create squares, triangles, pentagons, hexagons, cubes, prisms, pyramids, and even a dodecahedron. We were particularly fascinated in the tesseract shape; a cube inside a cube!
Other highlights included a complimentary morning tea and lunch, a day in the city and a tote bag filled with maths related goodies.
The Choose Maths day was a wonderful opportunity that we are all grateful to have been a part of. It broadened our minds, challenged us to think about maths from different perspectives and encouraged us to pursue a career in maths.
On behalf of the Year 9 girls who attended, we would like to thank Miss Salpietro for making this day happen by organising and managing us in the city and, of course, all the women who ran the event.
Always remember that maths is everywhere!
By Emma and Misha