Jillian rewriting maths
YEAR 9 maths classes at Burnett State College may never be the same again if graduate Jillian Kenny has her way.
“When I was in Year 9, maths was very conceptual and I thought, ‘When I am I ever going to use this’?”
Gayndah-born Ms Kenny is co-developing an interactive maths textbook application that flips maths education on its head – a project that may land her a Women of the Future Award.
“We will start with the context – problems in fashion and sport – and teach how to solve them using maths, and, ‘Look! You’ve learned an equation,” the civil engineer said.
With support from Clayfield College teachers, Ms Kenny and her business partners plan to first replace the Australian Year 9 maths textbook.
“It’s so fascinating to get the teachers’ input. Our next step is to work with the children, and we’re going to shadow them at school,” she said.
The application would be refined after watching the students solve problems, and asking, ‘Why are you doing that?’ she said.
“In October, we’ll be trialling a prototype.”
Ms Kenny co-founded tech company Machinam after realising her Power of Engineering workshops, designed to excite girls in Years 9–10 about engineering, had more potential.
A Women of the Future Award and the $20,000 bursary would be used to develop the interactive maths app.
The winners will be announced on September 23, with voting for the People’s Choice Award closing on August 27.
For more information, visit www.aww.com.au/ news-features/women-ofthe-future/semi-finalists/.
JILLIAN KENNY: National semi-finalist in the Women of the Future Awards.