“Humanity is going places it’s never gone before,” begins Tait McIntyre. “We are building bigger, exploring further, moving faster, producing more, creating more than ever before.”

It is the introduction to a video created by a group of Year 9 Maths students, Kera Mumford, Kiarna Best, Tait McIntyre and Anneke Oliver, who show why maths is at the heart of innovation. The team have been named top 10 finalists in the national CHOOSEMATHS competition. Their task was to create a video on the theme “OUR WORLD NEEDS MATHS”.

The girls show that if you look hard enough, you can find maths anywhere. In performing arts, the angle of dance positions can improve a dancer’s technique, speed, strength and accuracy. When we watch their perfect pirouettes we are marvelling at maths in action. Could maths actually be beautiful?

Modern agriculture also relies heavily on maths to produce the food we eat – an average of 905 kilograms per person each year to be exact. But did you know that maths can also find its way into your lunchbox? Every time you eat a Pringle potato chip you are consuming a hyperbolic paraboloid. (Albeit one with added salt and a few other numbers thrown in.) The curved shape increases strength and allows the chips to fit together in the famous cylindrical packaging. Can maths also be delicious?

Creative insights like these have won the girls a place in the CHOOSEMATHS Awards Presentation Ceremony to be hosted in Melbourne on Friday 7 September 2018.

“We all have the potential to change the future,” concludes Anneke. “But without maths there is no future. And that’s why we choose maths.”