Jil­lian rewrit­ing maths

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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/.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

JIL­LIAN KENNY: Na­tional semi-fi­nal­ist in the Women of the Fu­ture Awards.

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