Meet the volunteers – Rachel Theunissen

Rachel Theunissen has been a volunteer with the Australian Mathematics Trust since 2012 and she shares a bit more about her contribution with us…


It has been a very rewarding experience for me and I was very excited when I received an email from Kate Gascoyne from the Australian Maths Trust inviting me to participate in making a series of videos for students initially called the ‘stay-at-home series’.

I have been working in the Junior division for this project, with problems aimed at year 7 and year 8 students. This worked well for me as I teach students at this level, and beyond, at Lesmurdie SHS in Western Australia.

The project has included deciding which questions from past AMC papers would fit into the topics for each week’s videos and then filming sample question and then the solution to six further questions.

I have enjoyed the process of looking back through past AMC papers to find appropriate questions and writing tips to help students solve the problems. Then the process of producing the raw video started, with each presenter having a slightly different style and method of recording.

Mike Clapper and Chris Wetherell had already done a lot of the planning, making suggestions of topics and some questions for each set of problems. This was all done in a relatively short space of time and just as the problems were about to be released online, some states began to talk about students going back to school.

As a result, the first set of problems and videos were released as the Discovery Series, as part of the Problemo platform on the 5 May 2020. A new set of problems is released each week, with eight sets in total.

The Discovery Series has sets of problems for Middle Primary (years 3–4), Upper Primary (years 5–6), Junior (years 7–8) and Intermediate (years 9–10) level.

In addition to Mike, Chris and myself, Lei Bao and Emily Peterson have also been producing videos and then uploading them for the AMT team to work their magic to bring them online. It has already been accessed by many teachers and students and hopefully it will reach many more.