Peter Howley, Eddie Woo and Scott Sleap

A Faculty of Science collaboration with SISP, CASE

Faculty of Science’s 'Woo, NEW, and You!' event was a huge success - filled with fun, education and laughter, the event exponentially increasing student interest in mathematics and statistics.

Australian mathematician, mathematics teacher and awarded Australia’s 2018 Local Hero Award (and Woo Tube sensation), Eddie Woo was the main attraction, engaging and enthusing 800+ Year 6-8 students across two sessions, and 80 teachers in a separate super session to make mathematics memorable, at UoN.

Hosted on 7 March in the Great Hall, UoN Callaghan campus, Eddie also appeared on ABC local radio and NBN news, and entered to the 400-strong crowds chanting ‘Eddie Woo, we want you!’, egged on by MC and UON STEMM Ambassador A/Prof Peter Howley. Significantly, the event made mathematics and statistics accessible and enjoyable; enabling participation and understanding of the true interdisciplinary nature of, and career opportunities through, mathematics and statistics!

Comments from students from Wirreanda Public School, Medowie, after the event included:

“Amazing”, “Inspiring”, “It really opened up my eyes for my future career paths so I’m really thankful for the opportunity”, “Enjoyable”, “An incredible experience”!

You know it’s been well-received when a side-kick academic statistics presenter also gets asked for autographs by scores of students.

Participants travelled from across the Hunter Region and surrounds, from as far North as Port Macquarie and South as Sydney to hear Eddie speak and he was also well supported by UoN and Industry speakers exemplifying careers through mathematics and statistics:

  • Jessica Pritchard, WesTrac (and UON BMath Alumni) - who spoke about her problem of inventory control for machinery parts which take 7 months from ordering to arrival, likening this to pizzas having to be ordered 7 months before you are hungry (and parts corrode and there are high costs if stored, much like pizzas would go mouldy if ordered so far in advance)
  • Jackie Coates, Head of Telstra Foundation - Telstra donated a Robotics Kit to UON’s SMART program – accepted by A/Prof Peter Howley
  • Bite-sized presentations and interactions with Faculty of Science:
    • Thinking mathematically – Dr Mal Roberts, School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Leader of UON’s Young Mathematicians Program
    • Statistics - Playing in Everyone’s Backyard, and UON Engagement Opportunities – A/Prof Peter Howley, Science and Technology Australia STEM Ambassador, University of Newcastle STEMM Ambassador
    • Maths and Rockets – SMART Program Leader, Shelley Wilson

And some more good news! Eddie will return to UON with Adam Spencer and another celebrity presenter later in the year. So keep your eyes on our site for details of these and other upcoming events!

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