Mathematicians in Schools

Information for mathematicians

Celebrate the skills you use in your profession. Give students a glimpse of your working life. The Mathematicians in Schools program allows you to work with a teacher in a flexible, ongoing partnership.

You will provide valuable ideas and inspiration for teachers and students; in turn, you will receive a fresh perspective on maths from your contact with the classroom environment.

The program is open to all mathematicians. The definition of a mathematician for this program includes any professional who is actively engaged in the fields of mathematics and/or technology. It includes economists, accountants, research mathematicians, engineers, cryptographers, surveyors, biometricians and statisticians, amongst others. Generally a Bachelor’s degree in a mathematics related field and currently working in a profession where maths is a major component of your work is required.

You can nominate a school, or you can leave it to us to select an appropriate school for you. As a starting point, see the maps of registered schools who are waiting for mathematicians. There are many other schools who have not yet registered, so please don't feel constrained by this list of schools.

What’s involved?

You have control over your involvement with your partner teacher, so your partnership can suit your availability and interests. You may choose to work with a specialist maths teacher (generally at secondary school level) or with a generalist teacher (in primary school) who also teaches maths.

For example, you could:

  • give presentations to students about contemporary maths, applications of maths or careers in maths
  • help run classroom maths activities
  • mentor students who are working on maths projects
  • answer students’ questions by email
  • provide data or pose problems from your profession to help contextualise classroom maths
  • provide support, information and ideas to teachers.

You can read about successful partnerships in our showcases.

The most beneficial partnerships (for all involved) are those that are longer-term rather than one-off.

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What’s in it for me?

Mathematicians who have worked with schools have found it very rewarding. Their own enthusiasm for maths is often increased through contact with students’ curiosity and engagement.

Many mathematicians also feel a sense of achievement in nurturing and inspiring students’ interest in maths as a career option and as part of their every day lives.

Other possible benefits include:

  • stronger links with your local community or your children's school;
  • a better understanding of contemporary maths education to help you in recruiting and supervising tertiary students or employees;
  • improved communication skills;
  • a contribution to community awareness or education-related performance indicators for you and your employer;
  • increased interest in and awareness of maths among the general community;
  • more students undertaking high-level maths subjects in the future, to supply your industry with its future workforce.

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Working with Children checks and security

Mathematicians who undertake any type of interaction with students are required by State and Federal governments to undergo security screening. Evidence of the completed check must be provided before finding you a partner teacher.

If you have completed a recent Working with Children check then a copy will be requested to finalise your registration. Below is a list of the accepted Working with Children Checks for each state.

If you need to undergo or update your Working with Children check, the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools team will help you arrange this as part of your registration process.

Please note: Status of your relevant check will be reviewed or updated every two years.

Working with Children checks accepted

Australian Capital Territory

Working with Vulnerable People check

Office of Regulatory Services
New South Wales

AFP National Police Check

Working with Children check

Australian Federal Police

NSW Office of the Children's Guardian

Northern Territory Ochre Card SAFE NT
Queensland Blue card Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
South Australia DCSI Criminal History check Department of Communities and Social Inclusion
Tasmania

National Criminal History check

Good character check

Australian Federal Police

Department of Education, Tasmania

Victoria Working with Children check Department of Justice
Western Australia Working with Children check Department of Child Protection

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Support for your partnership

The Mathematicians in Schools program provides support materials to all mathematicians who are partnered with a school through the program. This support material includes:

  • information and tips about working with schools, teachers and students
  • ideas for establishing and maintaining a partnership with a school
  • teaching and learning materials that can be used with students.

Resources and ideas are also available on the website.

We will maintain contact with you throughout the life of the Mathematicians in Schools program or for the duration of your partnership, to provide any advice and assistance required.

We will periodically offer free professional development workshops for participants, in which you will share ideas with other participants and learn new skills in working with schools. Invitations will be sent by email to local participants.

Partnered mathematicians and teachers are also invited to join the Scientists in Schools email list, which allows them to contact participants across the country to ask questions, share ideas and discuss topics relating to their partnerships.

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The registration process

You can register for Mathematicians in Schools online. On the registration form we will ask you for your contact information, as well as:

  • your preferences about the location and style of partnership you undertake
  • your supervisor contact details
  • some general information about your qualifications and research area
  • if you hold a valid Working with Children check for your state.

All mathematicians who participate are required to have the support of their supervisor or equivalent. Mathematicians who don’t have a supervisor, for example self-employed professionals, can select the ‘not applicable’ option in this section of the registration form.

If you like, you can nominate a school that you would like to work with. You can choose from the list of unmatched schools, or nominate any other school not on the list. If you choose not to nominate a school, we will select an appropriate school for you.

Once you have registered, we will match you with a teacher according to your stated partnership preferences. If there is no teacher already registered who matches your preferences, we will endeavour to recruit a suitable teacher for your partnership.

We will then send you the teacher’s contact details and your support materials; at the same time we will send your contact details to the teacher. You can initiate the partnership at any time after this. We will contact you to ensure that you have received all the material and to check that you and the school have made contact. You and the teacher can then develop the partnership in a way that suits you both.

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Frequently asked questions

How is Mathematicians in Schools connected to Scientists in Schools?
Mathematicians in Schools is an element of Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools of which Scientists in Schools is also an element. Some aspects are common between the two elements, and some material has been developed specifically for Mathematicians in Schools. Find out more about Scientists in Schools.

I'm already in a Scientists in Schools partnership. Can I also join Mathematicians in Schools?
Yes, please do. You can register online, or contact us to discuss your situation.

My job uses numbers but isn't in a standard 'maths' area. Can I register?
Most likely. We take a broad view of ‘maths professionals’ and are happy to include people who work with applications of maths as well as research mathematicians and academics. Please register and we will contact you if we need further clarification.

How much time will the partnership take?
That’s entirely up to you. You can choose to spend a few hours per term, or visit a school every week. You and your partner teacher can choose a style of partnership to suit your availability.

What sort of activities can I do in the partnership?
Let your imagination guide you! You and your partner teacher can decide on activities that interest you and the students. For inspiration, you can read about what others have done and use the resources page. You may need to discuss issues of cost, equipment availability and safety with your partner teacher.

What if my circumstances change after I partner with a school?
At any time you can negotiate with your partner teacher to change the style of partnership to fit with your new circumstances. If you are no longer able to participate, you can ask us to close your partnership and we will endeavour to find another mathematcian to work with the teacher. Please contact us at any time to discuss changes to your partnership.

I’m already working with a school – should I register anyway?
Yes, please do. We are keen to find out about successful partnerships that have been developed through other programs or directly between schools and mathematicians. There’s room on the registration form to describe your existing partnership(s). If you don't want another partnership, please tell us; in this case we will simply record your existing partnership in our database and give you access to all the Mathematicians in Schools support and resources.

Why do you need to know my age?
Information about your age is only collected as part of demographic data. We welcome mathematicians of all ages.

What about money?
There is no charge to register for Mathematcians in Schools or to be partnered with a school. Please also note that we’re unable to pay for your time or any costs incurred through the partnership. However we do have some funds to assist with travel to remote schools. Please contact us for more information.

Will my details remain private?
Please read the legal notice for details of our privacy policy.

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