Machinam gets maths in context


POSTED DATE: 31 January 2018

AUTHOR: Minnis Journals

Making the connection between maths and the real world can be a bit of a leap but if there’s a group of people who know how to apply maths in real life situations it’s engineers; using formulae to solve practical problems is what they do.

From that premise Machinam, a start-up founded by three engineers, conceived the In Real Life (IRL) maths learning program which is pitched at Year 9 and 10 students.

Machinam is running a scholarship, funded by global engineering partner WorleyParsons, for the first time this year and has more in the pipeline. Read more...

Edutech startup Machinam engages students in maths by linking the textbook to the real world

POSTED DATE: 31 March 2017

AUTHOR: Gina Baldassarre

For many students, this disconnect between the maths textbook and real life poses a significant barrier to engaging with maths, and despite the increased focus on encouraging kids into STEM fields of late, a four year study from the University of Newcastle found that students have a “dire” lack of interest in pursuing a maths-related career, with just eight of 6492 students stating they wanted to work in the field after finishing school.

Hoping to help students engage with maths by helping them relate it to real life is Australian startup Machinam. Founded by senior engineer Claire Bennett and civil engineers Jillian Kenny and Felicity Furey, the startup has created an app full of content that takes what students are learning in class and applies it to real world problems. Read more...


Maths is in Fashion

education today cover.jpg

POSTED DATE: 21 March 2017

AUTHOR: Minnis Journals

Claire Bennett, Felicity Furey and Jillian Kenny are using real world scenarios that are relevant to students’ interests to increase engagement and improve results via their app In Real Life.

The three engineers were motivated to develop the technology after running a number of engineering workshops targeting young girls in schools.

Furey, Machinam co-founder, said the app enables students to develop critical thinking skills by solving real world maths problems.

“We saw great results when students connected maths to the real world and saw how they could make a difference with engineering and STEM careers.” Read more...

Engaging students, teachers and parents at Geelong College

The Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation at Geelong College invited Machinam for a day of workshops and presentations on 22 February.

Year 6 students became engineers for the day, creating bionic hands and communication devices in hands on workshops. We were impressed with the variety of communication devices designed ranging from light houses to sky projections – all using just Little Bits Kits and craft materials!

Year 9, 10 and 11 students shifted their perspective about engineering with and inspiring presentation from Felicity Furey.

In the afternoon, parents and teachers learnt how the language we use can influence girls choices around pursuing STEM careers.

Read more here

The laser focus of BOSS Young Executives 2016

POSTED DATE: 8th July, 2016

AUTHOR: Jessica Seir

To be the one who makes the final call day in day out takes a certain type of confidence. Felicity Furey, Director of Machinam, believes backing yourself is the most crucial aspect of leadership.

“This isn’t about being corny, it’s about knowing what you know and making a decision,” she says. “It took starting a not-for-profit organisation for me to realise how beneficial taking risks and backing myself was to all aspects of my life.”

Furey is one of the six BOSS Young Executives of 2016, an energetic and ambitious cohort from across the country. Working in industries from medicine to hardware, all have combined their individual skills with a sharp business acumen, making them multidisciplinary and extremely capable. Read more...

Why Australia needs more women in STEM professions and how you can help us get there

POSTED DATE: 2nd November, 2015

AUTHOR: Jillian Kenny, Machinam

Only 11% of today’s engineers are women. Does it matter? Well, imagine for a moment what our world might look like if that balance was fifty-fifty. How might our cities be different? Our schools? Our hospitals?

I was recently talking to a woman named Emmy, who shared with me that as a teen she wanted to be a medical engineer. She was inspired by this idea after noticing that if hospital beds were able to adjust just another 20cm lower, it would make the world of difference when patients are transferring from a wheelchair to a bed. She didn’t become an engineer, but pursued her interests and became a nurse. When I asked her why she didn’t go into engineering, she said, “I love helping people, I didn’t think I was smart enough and I wasn’t good enough at maths.”

These are just some of the traps young women, and also in many cases their parents and teachers fall into when thinking about engineering and other science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professions. Read more...

Preparing young people for the 'New Work Order'

POSTED DATE: 1st October, 2015

AUTHOR: Jan Owen, CEO Foundation for Young Australians

Image courtesy of FYA

Image courtesy of FYA

Young people will be the hardest hit under a new future of work, as economy and labour markets undergo significant changes over the coming decades. The most recent report from the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) highlights how the way we work will be increasingly affected by automation, globalisation and collaboration.

Every day I have the opportunity to meet, work with and get inspired by this incredible generation of young people who are thinking creatively about the future and taking action to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. It’s what the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) is all about – we exist to back the next generation of young people so they can rethink the world and create a better future. 

We're about young people like Aussie entrepreneur, Alexie Sellar, who is tackling climate change by providing microfinance to India’s urban-poor so they can buy solar lighting and reduce their reliance on kerosene lamps. There’s also engineers Jillian Kenny, Felicity Furey and Claire Bennett who are rewriting maths textbooks to get young people, particularly girls, hooked and ready for a career in STEM fields. This list could go on for pages. Read more...

“Grand Theft Auto meets a maths textbook”: Machinam keeps it real for students

POSTED DATE: 30th September 2015

AUTHOR: Denham Sadler

Three QUT alumni are trying to answer a question persistently posed by young students when trying to learn a particularly hard algebra equation: “why do I need to know this?”

Machinam is a smartphone app that aims to show these maths equations and problems to students in a way that can be applied in the real world and in turn encourage more students, especially girls, to embrace STEM subjects.

The startup brings together problem-based maths learning with real life contexts through digital technology, providing an alternative to more traditional textbook-based learning.

Machinam co-founder Felicity Furey says it’s like “Grand Theft Auto meets a maths textbook”. Read more...

Felicity Furey of Machinam

Felicity Furey of Machinam

QUT innovation contest cranks up creativity

POSTED DATE: 24th September 2015

ENGINEERING graduates of a Brisbane university could forever change the way students understand mathematics with a new app designed to make maths a whole lot easier.

The qutbluebox $100,000+ Innovation Challenge has QUT civil engineering student and Machinam co-founder Jillian Kenny (pictured) confident her team's app will tackle students' doubts about difficult maths.

"It does this by framing maths problems in a way that allows students to connect what they're learning in the classroom to their own life and future careers," Kenny says. Read more...

Ideas Hoist - An interview with Jillian Kenny - Founder of Machinam

POSTED DATE: 16/09/2015

Can you tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

At Machinam we’re creating an app-based resource that tackles the age-old question ‘Why do we need to learn this?’ by framing maths problems in a way that allows students’ to connect what they are learning in class to real life and future careers...Read more