Scientists in Schools

All in a day's work

Download Showcase
(PDF, 0.40MB)

  • Geoff Dickie, Gin Gin State High School, Gin Gin and Kepnock State High School, Bundaberg, Queensland
  • Dr Rob McDougall, Senior Lecturer, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton
Dr Rob McDougall visiting maths students and teachers

Rob was keen to work with the whole range of students and teachers from the enthusiastic to the “why have I got to be here?” crew.  Rob and Geoff took what they felt was the “simplest” approach.  They decided Rob would travel to Gin Gin State High School, where Geoff was teaching at the time, for a day of interactions with teachers and students.

After meeting the Principal and teaching team, Rob was given a tour of the school. He then spent the day working with a variety of classes including:

  • Year 8 extension mathematics students helping them with University of New South Wales ICAS exam preparation;
  • Year 9 extension students on solving Euler problems and preparing for the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians; 
  • Year 10 extension class who were completing assignments; and
  • Year 11 Mathematics B students giving them a broader view of problem solving in maths.
Rob gave a lunch time talk to interested students about the nature of infinity, entitled The Mind and Mathematics.  It was very well received with the students leaving with new skills and a broader perspective on using different techniques to solve maths problems.

Rob’s expertise and enthusiasm was an inspiration to the teaching team and students alike. Geoff commented “It has been very rewarding to see the number of students enthused by Rob's passion for mathematics. He makes the whole field of mathematics seem more accessible and has made the whole process of networking through Mathematicians in Schools very worthwhile.”

The 'grassroots' nature of Mathematicians in Schools allowed Rob and Geoff to tailor a program, suiting their needs and interests as partners.  When Geoff transferred to his new school, Kepnock State High, Rob and the partnership followed.  In between visits, the partners have been experimenting with ways for students to interact with Rob online.

Rob and Geoff agree their partnership has allowed students the opportunity to interact with mathematics specialists where many would not otherwise have access.  Student and parent feedback says it best, with one parent commenting “Jack was thrilled to bits with the visit from the mathematician the other day.  Both Grandma and Nan got a phone call. Big stuff!”

Studetns receiving help from Dr Rob McDougall