Schoolteachers put maths in gala focus
Pilbara teachers met late last month on a first-time mission to make mathematics more fun for local students.
Sixty-six teachers from schools in Karratha, Wickham, Roebourne, Pannawonica, and Onslow convened at the Karratha Leisureplex on Saturday, February 25 for the inaugural Scitech Karratha Maths Gala.
The day involved hands-on activities and professional development sessions by Scitech and maths educators including Back to Front Maths author Tierney Kennedy, Mathematical Association of WA implementation officer Rachael Whitney-Smith, and Scitech representatives Shyam Drury and Steve Grant.
Karratha Mathematics Network leader and Peg’s Creek Primary School deputy principal Lisa Campbell said the event allowed Pilbara teachers to get on the same page to improve maths classes for local students.
“The Mathematics Network identified some significant areas in mathematics teaching we wanted to target for our teachers,” Ms Campbell said. “(Scitech was) able to bring together all of the elements we needed for teachers and families.”
The teachers finished the day with a family afternoon of maths games to boost children’s and parents’ confidence in applying mathematical ideas.
Scitech professional learning consultant Mr Grant said parents were a key part of youngsters’ maths education.
“Parents play a vital role in making maths meaningful outside the classroom, and the conversations they have with their children make what they are learning relevant and valuable,” he said.
The gala was part of a collaboration between Scitech and Pilbara schools, supported by Scitech, Chevron Australia and the State Government, which provides Pilbara teacher support programs for STEM education.
Mr Drury said Scitech planned to make the gala an annual event in Karratha.
Back to Front Maths author Tierney Kennedy leads Pilbara maths teachers in a workshop at the Scitech Karratha Maths Gala.