“In Year 10 Advanced Mathematics class, we were assigned an investigation task to apply our knowledge of indices, surds, and exponentials to hypothetical scenarios. As a group, we were given the topic of enforcing mandatory bushfire evacuations for rural towns, discovering how quickly bushfires can spread when left unattended for durations of time. While working on the investigation we learnt how to represent mathematical data in a comprehensive way to support our arguments of a real-life scenario.
The investigation had many opportunities for discussion, opinions and to work collectively. We enjoyed trying to solve a variety of abstract questions that we had to think outside of the box for. We enjoyed the collaborative environment, as we could share our thoughts on important decisions, theoretical possibilities, and mathematical concepts. Being able to see what other groups uncovered on their prompts was a great as well, gaining new knowledge on topics we would not normally explore. This included topics such as the disposal of radioactive waste from Chernobyl and the spread of various infectious diseases we are all a bit too familiar with.
It differed from traditional assignments and problems that we normally do in math, which made it extremely exciting to work on and then present. Unlike other math assessments, we had to apply our knowledge of surds, indices, and exponentials into real life scenarios, backing up our decision with mathematical data and statistics. This resulted in the assignment being very engaging, providing a space for all groups to work with independence.
The investigation was a great way to relate the math concepts we had been learning to a real-world application. Being familiar with the consequences of bushfires, it was alarming how quickly the exponential growth of bushfires can reach numbers incomprehensible to us. We were able to recognise how each concept can be applied to situations we can understand and see the use for, as well as making the math relevant to what we were completing. As a group we were able to assume the roles of mathematicians, engaging with our peers and allowing for many healthy discussions based upon our results and calculations.”
Liam, Sai, Jordi, Nathaniel and Joel | Year 10 Advanced Mathematics Students