Frequently asked questions

Is there any cost to enter the competition?

Yes, the entry fee per project is $22.00, including GST.  Projects should be prepared by teams of 2 or 3 students.  Entry fees are collected by the Australian Mathematics Trust to cover the competition’s administration, prizes and certificates.  The Australian Mathematics Trust is a not-for-profit organisation.

When do we need to enter by?

Complete your entry by Friday 5 August 2016. Late entries will be accepted wherever possible.
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How long will it take to create the projects?

The time needed to create the projects vary from class to class, and from student to student. In previous competitions, teachers have reported that projects can be completed in fewer than four class lessons.

What is the benefit to the students?

Students will benefit from entering the competition.

  • It is a fun, interactive way of teaching the school curriculum.
  • It will give them greater insight into mathematics and statistics as they plan, gather their own data, analyse their results, and create a presentation.
  • The students gain experience in working as a team.
  • Students enjoy it!
  • There are many jobs requiring an understanding of statistics, and the competition gives practical experience in this field where there are many jobs.
  • All participants receive certificates and are in the running for national and state prizes.

What are the benefits to teachers?

Teachers will benefit from entering students in the competition.

  • It allows components of the school curriculum to be taught using a fun, different approach.
  • It generates interest in, and demonstrates the relevance of, mathematics and science.
  • It is a short and varied, yet fun and interesting, activity.
  • All students in the class can participate.

Can schools enter more than one project?

Definitely! Everyone in your class can be part of a project entry.

How is it related to the CensusAtSchools program?

The competition is independent of but completely compatible with the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ CensusAtSchools program. The competition and the CensusAtSchools programs have almost identical aims. The competition provides students completing the CensusAtSchool program with a forum for displaying and testing what they have learnt. However, you do not have to participate in the competition to successfully complete the CensusAtSchools program and you do not have to participate in the CensusAtSchools program to enter the competition.

Do I have to do one of the suggested projects?

No! The suggestions are just that: suggestions. In the 2004 competition, for example, the winning entry used the Splat That! idea, while second and third place went to original ideas. It becomes a judgment call: some originality is desirable, but projects also need to be scientifically accurate and correct. Following the suggested projects too closely lacks originality but the more originality you insert into the project, the more chance of straying into error.

Do I have to use the CensusAtSchools data?

No. The competition does require you to analyse and interpret data. Whether you choose to pose a question which can be answered using the existing CensusAtSchools data set or whether you choose to pose a question which requires you to collect your own data is entirely up to you. All entries will be judged on how well they describe the specific details of their data collection or data selection process.

Who can enter?

Any secondary student can enter. Students should work in teams of 2 or 3, but team members do not have to be in the same year level as each other. Entries are invited from private schools, state schools and even home-schooled or distance education students (the third place winner in 2003 came from the Brisbane School of Distance Education).

Can individual students enter a project?

Usually, project entries must come from a team of 2 or 3. If you have special circumstances, contact AMT for advice and clarification.

Do all students in a team need to be in the same year level?

No. However, the project will be judged according to the highest year level of the team members. (Usually, all team members are from the same school year level.)