Embracing all STEM strands
It is the Young Scientist Committee’s desire that teachers and school departments provide opportunities for students to work on STEM projects that embrace skills from each of the Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically strands. By embracing these foundational skills of our current technological age, students will be better equipped to think critically and solve problems. To encourage student involvement in applying the different processes of Working Scientifically, Technologically and Mathematically, the STANSW Young Scientist Awards offers 41 sponsored prizes that award achievement in both specific skills and in general skills that encompass all three strands. We also have specific Category Awards that are sponsored by the Professional Teaching Association that is responsible for that area of STEM.
The Mathematical Association of NSW is the professional body sponsoring the secondary level MANSW Working Mathematically Awards, the major category awards in the Working Mathematically category. MANSW is offering 9 secondary prizes. Visit the MANSW Working Mathematically Awards page to get specific details about these awards. There are also 9 prizes for K-6 students in the Primary Working Mathematically Awards.
The Benefits of Working Mathematically?
Active engagement in the processes of Working Mathematically develops the capacity of students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems relevant to their further education and everyday lives.
“As an essential part of the learning process, Working Mathematically provides students with the opportunity to engage in genuine mathematical activity and develop the skills to become flexible and creative users of mathematics (Mathematics K-10 Syllabus). In our rapidly changing society, students need more than computational skills … students need to develop the ability to think creatively, reason mathematically, and to apply mathematics in a variety of situations. It is critical that students be provided with rich opportunities to see relationships between their mathematical studies and the real-life situations they come across, to solve a range of unfamiliar problems in creative ways and to develop a deep understanding of the mathematics involved.” Excerpt from the Mathematics 7-10 Professional Learning Module produced by the Catholic Education Office (CEO) Sydney
The Processes of Working Mathematically
As an essential part of the learning process, Working Mathematically provides students with the opportunity to engage in genuine mathematical activity and develop the skills to become flexible and creative users of mathematics (NESA Mathematics Stage 6 Syllabuses, 2018). In the new Stage 6 Mathematics courses, they have identified six interrelated aspects which form the focus of each Stage 6 syllabus:
- problem solving
These six Working Mathematically processes are adopted in the Years 11-12 MANSW Working Mathematically category.
NESA Mathematics Stage 6 Syllabuses, 2018
The Working Mathematically processes adopted in the Years K-2, 3-4 & 5-6 Primary Working Mathematically categories and the Years 7-8 & 9-10 MANSW Working Mathematically categories are these five components that are adopted in the Mathematics K-10 Syllabus:
- problem solving
These processes are at the centre of learning and teaching in Mathematics. It is the level of coverage of these processes that determines the quality of the mathematical investigation nominated for the Working Mathematically category. For further guidance, visit the Primary Working Mathematically page or the Secondary Working Mathematically page where these processes are broken down and explained further.