All about the real world

Photographer:  Ivan Knyazev  Source: Moose (Icons8)

Photographer: Ivan Knyazev
Source: Moose (Icons8)

Every maths teacher has been asked the question ‘Why do I need to learn this?’ at some point in their career.

We know that maths is vital for life and future careers, with 75% of the fastest growing jobs requiring these skills. Yet the numbers of students choosing maths are declining as are the scores of Australian and New Zealand students in the subject globally.

The good news is we do know how to answer that age-old question and re-engage young people in maths.

It’s all about bringing the real world into the classroom.

Two proven ways to do this are through events that spark an interest in the subject, and classroom resources that connect the subject to the real world and 'the why' of STEM.

When students attend events that connect the real world to maths and engineering, they see why maths matters. In fact, over 75% of students who have attended just one event changed their mind from a ‘no’ to a ‘yes’ about STEM careers.

We love these events and they make a big difference. But what happens when you get back to school and have a room full of engaged students looking at the same old maths resources? How do you continue the momentum from the event and keep them engaged?

And what if you can't get to the real world events - if there isn't enough time in your curriculum to take a whole day off, or it's too far to travel?

That's where real-life resources come into play. They bring the real world into the classroom for you. You can get the same results without leaving the room.

We found that more than 82% of students had a greater understanding of how the maths they were learning in class was applicable to the real world after completing the In Real Life quests. Answering the age-old question, and making maths fun and engaging is driving these results for our modern learners.

We’ve seen that changing student perceptions can also flow on to subject selections for year 11 and 12. In some instances we’ve seen the number of female students double or triple in Physics and Engineering Technology classes. Even more surprisingly, one school, Kelvin Grove State College in Brisbane, who regularly attended events reported they went down to zero females in Engineering Technology after they were unable to attend an event one year.

“We didn’t attend an event one year. As a result, NO girls enrolled in our Engineering Technology class of 32 students. We haven’t made that mistake again!”

- Kelvin Grove State College

“Our STEM enrolments have jumped from 13 students to 29 in one year. This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve by demonstrating the relevance of these subjects to future careers.”

- Clairvaux Mackillop College

What made this difference? We know. It’s showing students how maths and science are used in the real world.

Learn more about real world maths resources here – www.machinam.com.