Girl Power: Australia’s Top Maths Teacher Creating STEM Superheroes

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A passion for technology and girl power has seen NSW teacher Corrine Vingerhoed, named the nation’s top maths teacher at today’s Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Choose Maths Awards in Melbourne.

The Hunter School Of The Performing Arts teacher received the 2018 Mentoring Girls in Maths award for her inspirational approach to fostering mathematics learning and engagement of girls. The prize, including $20,000 to be shared with her school, recognises her leadership of a program that has used technology, robots, industry mentors and extra support over a hot milo to empower girls across the school.

With 70 per cent of the school’s students female, Vingerhoed’s innovative approach is fuelled by the limitations of her own high-school experience and lack of female maths role models. Wanting more for her students, she is rewriting how maths is taught to unleash their maths and STEM superpowers with extraordinary results.

“Corrine is very deserving of this recognition for her commitment to fostering engagement of girls and their mathematical success in and beyond the classroom,” says AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director, Janine McIntosh.

Presented by BHP Principal Diversity and Inclusion Fiona Vines, a total of ten teachers were recognised at today’s presentation including two $10,000 Outstanding Teacher Awards and seven $1000 Excellence Awards. This year’s Outstanding Primary and Secondary Teacher awards went to Singleton Primary School (WA) teacher Sheila Griffin and Mt Waverley Secondary College (VIC) Leading Teacher, Head of Student Voice, Haley Dureau.

Australian Mathematical Excellence on Show 

In their third year, the national teacher and student awards are part of the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s Choose Maths project funded by BHP Billiton Foundation. As well as teacher excellence and mentorship of girls, the student video awards recognise outstanding learning and creativity.

“Whether in a remote community or our biggest city centres, the creativity, leadership and innovation of this year’s winners sets a new bar for Australian mathematics education,” said AMSI Director Professor Geoff Prince.

Students Reveal Why Our World Needs Maths

Themed ‘Our World Needs Maths’, the 2018 Choose Maths student awards encouraged junior, intermediate and senior student teams to explore real-world application of maths.

Three best video prizes were presented at today’s ceremony in Melbourne, with St Matthew’s Catholic School (NSW) receiving top junior honours, Ferny Grove State High School (QLD) taking intermediate team and Geelong Grammar School (VIC) best senior team. As well as a grant to help with travel to Melbourne to attend the ceremony, the teams also received $2000.

An additional seven school teams were presented with $1000 Excellence Awards with a further 20 Highly Commended Awards to be presented at school assemblies.

There is a clear link between STEM and Australia’s future prosperity. Having a significant pool of diverse, young Australians with STEM skills will prepare them, and our nation, for the future. BHP Billiton Foundation Chief Executive, James Ensor, said the awards exemplified the Foundation’s commitment to providing opportunities for students to build these skills.

“The BHP Billiton Foundation congratulates the 2018 teacher and student winners for their outstanding achievements. The calibre of this year’s entries bodes well for Australia’s mathematical capability into the future,” he said.

The Choose Maths Awards were presented on Friday 7 September in Melbourne.

Meet the 2018 Teacher and Student Winners:
https://choosemathsawards.org.au/2018-award-winners

For Interview:
2018 Award Winners
Professor Geoff Prince, AMSI Director
Ms Janine McIntosh, Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director
Mr James Ensor, BHP Billiton Foundation Chief Executive 

Media Contact: Laura Watson
E: media@amsi.org.au
P: 04215 18733

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