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Innovation, creativity, leadership and mathematical educational excellence has seen schools in NSW, VIC and SA honoured at the 2019 Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Choose Maths Awards.

Supported by the BHP Foundation, AMSI recognised a total of 11 teachers and 10 student teams at today’s awards, the ‘Oscars’ of Australian maths education. Leading the pack with top honours, Louise Puslednik from NSW took home the $20,000 Mentoring Girls in Maths award for her powerful contribution to the engagement of girls in mathematics at St Matthew’s Catholic School and across the Mudgee region.

AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director Janine Sprakel said Puslednik was a deserving recipient of this year’s top award as a leader, mentor and champion for engagement of girls in maths and contribution to strengthening mathematics education across her region.

“Louise is a powerhouse mathematics mentor and educator whose innovation, passion, leadership and contributions to regional education have and will continue to transform engagement for the benefit of many,” she said.

Walford Anglican School for Girls teacher Deb Woodard-Knight received the $10,000 Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award, with Boneo Primary School teachers Liz Dewar and Ryan Jellie were named joint recipients of the $10,000 Outstanding Primary Teacher Award.

Teacher Excellence Awards were presented to teachers from the ACT, QLD, SA, VIC and WA. Running since 2016, the ‘Oscars’ of mathematics have invested over $267,000 in classrooms across Australia in recognition of teacher excellence.

Judged by a panel of maths education experts, the teacher awards acknowledge educators who demonstrate excellence in leadership, creativity and innovation and the engagement and mentoring of colleagues and students to strengthen outcomes for girls in mathematics.

Congratulating this year’s student and teacher winners, AMSI Director Professor Tim Brown said they exemplified the very best of mathematics education.

“This year’s winning teachers are helping equip a generation with the necessary mathematics to thrive in the future where mathematical sciences increasingly underpin any thriving community. Importantly, the impacts of their innovation, excellence and passion are felt not only in their own classrooms but across their schools and communities,” said Professor Brown.

“The outstanding student videos show the way mathematics can engage students to produce extraordinary demonstrations of their deep understanding together with their drive to powerfully communicate that to others.”

Read full winner details and bios here.

Lights, Camera, Action! Maths Makes Everything Possible on the Silver Screen

The 2019 Choose Maths student awards drew hundreds of entries from junior, intermediate and senior student teams across Australia. Demonstrating the real-world application of mathematics, the budding film makers were tasked with producing short films exploring the theme Maths Makes Everything Possible. 

Judged by a panel of education experts and representatives from AMSI and BHP, the student awards recognise videos demonstrating originality, creativity, communication excellence and a high standard of production. All mathematics represented was also reviewed for accuracy.

Rossmoyne Primary School in WA took top Best Junior Video honours for their mathematical Indiana Jones sequel, while Danebank Anglican School for Girls received Best Intermediate Video for their depiction of the importance of maths in tackling global environmental issues.

Trinity Lutheran College won Best Senior Video for their film about the eternally-late Rhys and his AI super computer, Kara. All three top winning teams took home $2000 in prizes.

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

Click here for full winners list and to watch the top 10 2019 Videos.

As industry increasingly demands a mathematically skilled workforce to respond to the challenges of big data and the digital age, BHP Foundation Executive Officer and President James Ensor said the Foundation partners with organisations like AMSI who are committed to driving change through such initiatives as the Choose Maths Awards – supporting women and girls to develop the skills that will enable them to embrace opportunities opened by mathematics.

“If we’re to tackle and find solutions to some of the world’s biggest sustainable development challenges, we need diverse and innovative STEM professionals. Thanks to AMSI’s Choose Maths project, thousands of girls and young women throughout Australia have had a remarkable opportunity to think differently about STEM, take their maths studies forward, and be a part of the prosperity that STEM careers can provide to individuals and the world. Congratulations to outstanding achievement of this years’ teacher and student winners,” he said.

These awards have been running since 2016 as part of AMSI’s national Choose Maths project funded by the BHP Foundation. The 2019 Choose Maths Awards were presented today in Melbourne.

For Media:
Click here for more information on AMSI
Click here for more information on Choose Maths
Click here for more information on the BHP Foundation

For Interview:
Professor Tim Brown, AMSI Director
Janine Sprakel, AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director
2019 Choose Maths Award Winners
Jen Dawson, Project Director – Australia, BHP Foundation

Media Contact: Laura Watson
P: 04215 18733

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