Developing Grit via Mathematics: Second Annual KIOSC Theta World & City Experience Competition

Company Oct 15, 2021
Year 7 mathematics competition "Theta World", and Year 8 competition "City Experience", runs for 3 weeks, beginning 18th Nov 2021

Mathspace is excited to partner with the Swinburne University of Technology’s Knox Innovation Opportunity and Sustainability Center (KIOSC) and its partner schools to help facilitate the second annual KIOSC Theta World mathematics competition.

KIOSC provides secondary school students with opportunities to explore STEM education and innovative careers of the future. The Theta World competition is for Year 7. Based on the success of the Theta World competition in 2020, a year 8 City Experience competition was created. In 2020 Rowville Secondary College year 8 MSA students collaborated to create a brand new add -on to the competition by contributing questions to build City Experience competition. By basing this problem solving competition within the context of a theme park, KIOSC aims to highlight a fun, creative application of mathematics in the real world.

Following a long period of school closures due to COVID-19 in Victoria, KIOSC is using this competition as an engaging and meaningful way to wrap up the school year. Not only is it an opportunity for teachers to diagnose gaps in student learning, but it’s also a chance for students to be empowered through real world mathematics. Differentiated instructional tasks within the Theta World meet students at their individual level to help them progress through the competition. This simultaneously builds confidence and a stronger maths identity in students.

The Director of KIOSC, Dr. Kulari Lokuge, explained that, “during a pandemic they [teachers] have not had the opportunity to gauge where individual students are at. Missing out on the classroom learning environment has reduced personalised learning opportunities. The challenge for the teachers is to provide differentiated learning activities that cater for individual students. This is an opportunity to identify and support students learning through a fun and interactive manner.”The Theta World competition allows teachers to facilitate a rich, real world relevant learning experience for students.

How does the competition work?

  • Year 7 and Year 8 students within KIOSC’s partner schools take part individually.
  • This competition runs for 3 weeks, with weekly problem solving for students to engage with.
  • To facilitate this, the KIOSC team create Custom Tasks on Mathspace to scaffold learning. Students complete the Mathspace tasks to develop understanding of mathematical concepts, then apply this understanding to the questions in their Theta World theme park.
  • Student responses to these problem solving tasks score towards the school total.


5 Key Ways Mathspace helps:

The KIOSC team has identified 5 key reasons why they’ve selected Mathspace to for the KIOSC competition:

  1. Teachers can use Mathspace to see the learning progression of students.
  2. Teachers can easily identify knowledge gaps and then act on them.
  3. Teachers can easily create differentiated tasks to ensure students are revising appropriate content that will build their mathematical confidence.
  4. Students step-by-step working means it has the great capability to record students’ learning activities, including the attempts, and percentage of accuracy.
  5. It also has a wide range of questions that are suitable for Victorian curriculum.


We look forward to seeing students demonstrate GRIT as they engage in deep mathematical thinking during the challenge!

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*Interested in collaborating with Mathspace for an upcoming mathematics challenge? Please contact our team at hello@mathspace.co to see how we can build mathematics confidence in students together!

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