Schoolgirls taught the true value of maths.
YEAR 9 girls from 14 schools across Perth spent last Wednesday at Penrhos College for the Girls Choose Maths 4 STEM conference.
More than 160 students heard from guest speakers and took part in career speed-dating and workshops that aimed to encourage girls to choose highlevel maths in high school.
Penrhos College maths mentor captain Vivienne Holt said she found the Q&A particularly interesting.
“One of the speakers asked the girls ‘who thinks they are not good at maths’; I think maybe 60 per cent of girls put up their hands,” she said.
“But it was so interesting because a lot of what they were saying was that you don’t have to be good at maths, it’s about doing it because you love it and it’s interesting.”
Choosemaths outreach officer Julia Collins, who was the MC for the conference, said the speakers were fantastic and that Elyssia Shearman’s story had really resonated.
Ms Shearman left school early to join the Australian Defence Force.
“She’s now gone back to university to study a psychology degree, so I think there is hope for everybody, Ms Collins said. “Even if you didn’t choose maths in Year 11, there’s nothing to stop you going back in life later to do that.
“The message from all the speakers, whether it was the speed daters or the keynote speaker, was the more maths you can do at school, the better it will be for your whole life, no matter what career you go into.”
She said survey data showed conferences like the one at Penrhos can change maths choices.
Dr Julia Collins with Vivienne Holt.