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New Careers in STEM activities for schools!

Monday 8 August 2022

The Mathematics in Careers investigations are designed to help students experience what careers in leading STEM industries can look like, through collaborative projects that solve real word problems, using real data and tools. The investigations were created by MAV Education Consultants, Helen Haralambous and Jess Mount as part of the Connecting Learning with Work Project.

The investigations are aimed at students in Year 10 to VCE and they can be even adapted as SACs or SAC starting points. The investigations have varied degrees of complexity and the teacher guide provides support for easy implementation, including enabling prompts and extension ideas.

Included within each investigation is a career focus section which contains a table of careers linked to the mathematics and content covered in the investigation. Students can explore the various careers and key skills required for the relevant industry and learn more by following the relevant weblinks provided.

MATHS CAMP INSPIRATION

Each year MAV invites Year 10 students to take part in a Maths Camp, aimed at demonstrating the connection between mathematics and its real world application. Prior to the camp, students are asked to rank STEM careers that they are interested in, such as biomedical science, scientific research, engineering, economics and coding/ICT. At the camp, students work in teams on an open-ended industry problem, for example, the engineering team were invited to investigate vehicle safety.

The Maths Camp is a collaboration between MAV and various industry partners such as Ford, Biarri, The Reserve Bank of Australia, VSSEC and Texas Instruments. It is funded by the Department of Education and Training, under the Strategic Partnership Program.

CONNECTING LEARNING WITH WORK PROJECT

Now, all schools across Victoria can access ten investigations based on actual problems our industry partners deal with in their workplace. Through a contextual investigation based on real industry scenarios, the investigations demonstrate how mathematics is applied in a variety of careers. Each investigation includes both a student and teacher version. Ideally, students should collaborate in small groups to allow them to utilise and develop the skills required by industry, including problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and teamwork.

Each student investigation is broken into four parts, increasing in order of complexity. Part 1 could include completing a table, Part 2 takes this data and displays it graphically it, Part 3 includes analysis and Part 4 asks for a summary and communication of findings, demonstrating any relationships found, and requiring students to explain their understanding and reasoning in drawing conclusions. Once students have completed the real-world work investigation, it is important to encourage them to present their findings to their peers.

The teacher guide includes career focus areas, the core mathematical skills focus, links to the Victorian Curriculum and the relevant mathematics proficiency focus. Most investigations contain a step-by step-solution guide and enabling prompts to assist teachers in working with their students. It is recommend that teachers use the solutions only to prompt students to assist them in getting started with the investigation.

The investigations are free to access and are easily downloadable at www.mav.vic.edu.au/resources/mathematicsincareers

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