Pre-empting the age-old question, ‘When is this useful in real life?’, Ms Liyanage’s Year 10 Maths class recently explored how indices and ‘exponentials’ help us to understand the growth and decay of real problems we currently face, and have faced in the past.
The students in 10A Mathematics formed groups and selected a problem that their group would go on to form an opinion on, using their understanding of Maths to support their contention. Each group created reports and presented their problem and proposed solutions to their class on their chosen issue.
The problems included:
- Whether Australia should enforce compulsory evacuations during bushfire season.
- If New Zealand should reinstate vaccination programs for the Measles
- The decay of radioactive substances after Chernobyl
- Which virus required immediate resources when compared against another virus (e.g. Ebola vs. SARs)
The project allowed for students to explore (graphically and mathematically) what the impacts of their problems were on society, and what the long-term consequences would be if we did not act soon to resolve the problems.
Listening to the questions, the discussions and the pathways the groups have taken have allowed for the students to creatively propose solutions/outcomes using their understanding of indices, analysing information from a graph and their algebra skills.
Well done to all the groups who have worked hard on this project!
Ms Angela Liyanage
Social Justice Coordinator, Maths and VCE Business Management Teacher, 10F Oratory Teacher