Working Mathematically

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 STA NSW Young Scientist Awards offers specific Category Awards in each of the Science, Technology and Mathematics categories.

Visit the Working Mathematically Awards page to get specific details about these 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:

  • fluency
  • understanding
  • justification
  • problem solving
  • reasoning
  • communicating

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 K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10 MANSW Working Mathematically categories  are these five components that are adopted in the Mathematics K-10 Syllabus:

  • communicating
  • problem solving
  • reasoning
  • understanding
  • fluency

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.