Australian students need to power up with mathematics and statistics to be ready for an uncertain future, with urgent action needed to increase engagement.
AMSI has welcomed a rousing closing at 2019 Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers National Conference in Brisbane, which saw Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO make the case for studying mathematics.
STEM skills such as mathematics and statistics are essential to equip young Australians with the agility and flexibility to navigate multiple career changes, says the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI).
AMSI Director Professor Tim Brown backed Dr Finkel’s call for action on a complex tangle of factors impacting mathematics uptake rates among Australian students.
Professor Brown said Australia’s mathematics culture, how it is understood as a career pathway, as well as issues such as out-of-field mathematics teaching and a lack of university maths prerequisites were contributing to the decline in student engagement.
Without action on these critical issues impacting student learning and engagement, we will see real consequences for future skill supply at a time when industry demand is growing,” said Professor Brown.
The Institute’s latest bid to tackle Australia’s perceptions of mathematics careers and highlight its power to open opportunity, the 2019 AMSI Choose Maths Career Campaign, has been rolling out nationally since June.
The campaign is in its third year, with this year’s resources focusing on the power of mathematics as an enabler that opens doors to change the world. The resources focus on sectors from tech, IT, sports and healthcare to the environment, cyber security and engineering. The Institute also recently released its 22nd edition of AMSI Maths Adds Careers Guide.
AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director, Janine Sprakel, said the resources were aimed at the reducing the misunderstandings Dr Finkel spoke of in today’s speech, particularly in relation to Years 9 and 10 students and subject decision making for senior high school.
“We call on students to maximise their future opportunities and potential, instead of falling for myths about the ATAR,” said Sprakel.
“Stretch yourselves and stick with maths to meet your full capability and you’ll have the required knowledge for a wide range of tertiary options. High level mathematics keeps doors open to exciting careers.”
For more on Choose Maths, visit choosemaths.org.au
For more on Careers, visit careers.amsi.org.au