The World of Maths

The ‘World of Maths’ was an exciting incursion experienced by Year 8 students on 14 August. The incursion was an interactive, travelling maths show which emphasised the power of learning by doing. The workshop enabled students to explore colourful hands-on maths activities, which ranged in difficulty to cater for students of different abilities.

During the session, students analysed mathematical problems through investigation, comparison and reflection. The ‘World of Maths’ activities provided an enjoyable maths environment in which teams of students worked collaboratively to solve many mathematical problems. Students worked enthusiastically to investigate the problem-solving tasks, which included building a chair from blocks, using multiplication skills with gears as well as several ‘trial and error’ situations. Our presenter, Noah, was energetic and happy to assist students in solving activities that were based on a variety of topics. Groups were allowed as much time as required on each activity, allowing for students to deeply explore the activity without any pressure. This experience provided a positive and fun attitude towards Mathematics, encouraging Year 8’s to give each problem-solving activity ‘a go’.

Cecilia Corlukla Year 8

Australian Mathematics Competition

The Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) was first run in 1978, and is Australia’s longest-running, largest, and most well-known maths competition for school students. The AMC contains unique problems designed each year by leading educators and academics to challenge and extend students’ problem-solving skills.

Participating in the maths competition was a great delight and an opportunity to interact with problems of varying difficulties. The competition was open to all students, regardless of their level of expertise. Whether they are a beginner or an advanced maths student, there is something for everyone. These competitions are not simply just a way to be victorious or earn a house point, but a chance to build a stronger connection to your personal mathematical skills, as well as create bonds with like-minded peers. Despite being intimidated by mathematics on multiple occasions, this competition grants students the freedom to think independently without pressure to do well; it is purely a pursuit for mathematically creative minds. Participating in the competitions helped them achieve academic and personal goals, by improving and enhancing students' mathematical skills, they are able to set themselves apart from their peers and increase their chances of success in their personal studies.

The AMC was a challenging yet enjoyable experience that allowed students to explore mathematical concepts and is definitely recommended to all students.

Avneet Kaur and Emily Huynh, Year 12

Mathematics Association Victoria Games Day

On 26 July, the Year 12 Math Teams embarked on an exciting new challenge - the MAV Maths Games Day. A day filled with logarithms, learning, and legends. As the Mount St. Joseph team entered RMIT, they knew that today, they were going to make history.

Against the backdrop of 40 other competing teams, they engaged in a series of rigorous mathematical challenges. These challenges spanned a wide spectrum, from time-pressured problem-solving queries to intricate Kenken and Yohaku puzzles. Amid these, a clear favourite emerged - the Swiss challenge. This intriguing game tasked two rival teams with deciphering a sequence of numbers, discerning the underlying pattern, and extending it based on a concealed rule. An added layer of complexity was introduced as teammates were barred from verbal communication. The game demanded not only exceptional intellectual prowess but also a profound trust in one's teammates. Stepping beyond their comfort zones, the participants were immersed in an atmosphere of intense competition, each round escalating the stakes.

Round after round, MSJ found the tension in the air growing stronger, as it came time for the winners to be announced. Although their names were not called, it was a proud achievement for their debut at the Maths Games Day. Beyond the competition, the team embraced the challenges with enthusiasm, crafting enduring memories and exhibiting friendship and courage that extended beyond numbers and equations. The Math Games Day was a resounding success, leaving everyone with a sense of accomplishment and a greater appreciation for the world of mathematics.

Ashyl Pereira & Sofie Nasser, Year 12

Science week

Chemistry at Melbourne University

The students of Year 12 Chemistry were fortunate enough to attend an invaluable excursion to the University of Melbourne, where we not only heard from a university lecturer about Organic Chemistry and Analysis, but also got a chance to put this theory into practice. For the first time, we had the opportunity to actually use the technical, powerful (and expensive!) machinery we have learnt about in class to analyse different chemical samples.

Expanding on our knowledge from the pages of a textbook and the walls of a classroom in a professional laboratory environment really pushed our critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills. Like many of my peers, I am incredibly grateful to MSJ for the opportunities provided for us as young women in STEM, which is absolutely crucial - even at a secondary schooling level - to promote gender equity, skill development, innovation and future career paths. A huge thank-you to Mr Lin and Mr Trieu for facilitating this excursion and also for their continued passion for our Chemistry education!

Bridget Munro, Year 12