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Maths is in fashion

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Image (above) – Machinam co-founders Claire Bennett, Felicity Furey, Jillian Kenny

Claire Bennett, Felicity Furey and Jillian Kenny are using real world scenarios that are relevant to students’ interests to increase engagement and improve results via their app In Real Life.

The three engineers were motivated to develop the technology after running a number of engineering workshops targeting young girls in schools.

Furey, Machinam co-founder, said the app enables students to develop critical thinking skills by solving real world maths problems.

“We saw great results when students connected maths to the real world and saw how they could make a difference with engineering and STEM careers.”

“Students use statistics to take their band on a world tour and Pythagoras to design their next fashion line,” Furey said.

Real world maths scenarios are delivered on a digital platform and mapped to the Australian curriculum which provides an interactive alternative to traditional textbooks.

“When I was at school I thought maths was boring, not relevant and couldn’t see how it related to my life or future career, and then I became an engineer,” Furey said.

Machinam’s resources are being used in schools in Queensland and Victoria and there has been a surprising uptake in regional areas.

Adrian Camm, Director of Learning and Teaching at Geelong College, understands the importance of connecting the real world into the classroom.

“We are always looking for new ways to increase participation in mathematics,” Mr Camm said. “Machinam’s real world approach captures students interest by allowing them to solve problems that are relevant to them.”

Currently, Machinam resources cover the year 9 curriculum. By 2018, they will have expanded to also cover year levels 7, 8 and 10.

Machinam is currently offering four week trials for schools that are interested in implementing real life resources into their classrooms.


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