Taking maths and physics to the regions

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Mathematicians and physicists from The University of Queensland’s will cover thousands of kilometres as they help regional Queensland teachers prepare for the new senior science and mathematics syllabuses.

The School of Mathematics and Physics team will traverse the state throughout October 2018, helping teachers refresh their knowledge and learn new content.

Statistics expert Dr Michael Bulmer said the teachers needed varying degrees of support, depending on their background knowledge and experience.

“The new syllabuses are an exciting but challenging opportunity for teachers, as they introduce a range of statistical concepts that are not in the current curriculum,” Dr Bulmer said.

“Dr Barbara Maenhaut, Dr Ian McCulloch and I are hoping to give regional teachers the support they need, helping them inspire the next generation to pursue a career in maths and physics.

“We’ll be visiting six regional centres – the Atherton Tablelands, Cairns, Mackay, Townsville, Gladstone and Toowoomba – delivering workshops on statistics, graphs and networks, and particle physics.”

Physicist Dr McCulloch said several topics dealing with quantum physics and relativity would be unfamiliar to many teachers.

“Physics is a fast-changing field, and this is a fantastic opportunity to connect with teachers shaping the next generation of physicists,” he said.

“The new Queensland physics syllabus starting in 2019 is more proscriptive, and we’ve found a lot of variation in the areas that are taught for the old syllabus.

“Having more uniformity across Queensland schools will ultimately be very beneficial, but it will take some effort to get there.

“We’re keen to share our knowledge in these fundamental areas, helping Queensland maintain our strong national reputation for the preparation of school leavers in these fields.

“Feedback has been extremely positive in some of the places where we’ve already delivered similar workshops, such as Rockhampton, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich.

“Now we’re ready to expand, helping more Queensland teachers prepare their students for a STEM future.”

Information on dates and locations for the free workshops is available by contacting

Source: UQ

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