The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and the BHP Billiton Foundation have launched Choose Maths, a five-year national program that will turn around public perception of mathematics and statistics as a career choice for girls and young women.
Working from the ground up, Choose Maths begins with a focus on mathematics education in primary and secondary schools. The BHP Billiton Foundation has contributed AUD $22 million toward the partnership, which will enable AMSI Schools to expand its outreach capacity across Australia over the next five years.
The program will contribute to the health of the mathematics pipeline in Australia from school through university and out to industry and the workplace by:
providing mathematics-ready teacher professional development in 120 schools across Australia and resources for every school in the country;
developing a national mathematical sciences careers awareness campaign;
establishing an “inspiring women in mathematics network”; and
holding annual BHP Billiton awards for excellence in the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Research-based strategies for encouraging girls and young women into mathematics and STEM-related courses will be core to the program. The large-scale careers awareness campaign will be driven by research into community perceptions about mathematics.