EDDIE WOO is an award-winning maths teacher, professor, and YouTuber who has amassed a following of more than 1.7 million subscribers. Good Reading for Kids caught up with Eddie to talk about his latest book, Eddie Woo’s Wonderful World of STEM.
ABOUT THE BOOK
STEM is everywhere.
It’s the Science that helps us understand the natural world.
It’s the Technology that uses knowledge and principles to invent tools.
It’s the Engineering that solves problems and builds our modern environment.
It’s the Maths that explores the patterns in the universe.
Draw, imagine, create, explore, discover, invent and find out about our wonderful world with this bumper book of STEM and STEAM activities from Australia’s favourite maths teacher, Eddie Woo.
Q&A WITH EDDIE WOO
What inspired you to become a maths teacher?
I love helping people learn, and when I teach maths it is so delightful to see the moment of clarity someone can experience when the reason for something ‘clicks’ in their mind for the first time. It’s especially satisfying when someone has been wrestling with a challenging problem for some time and there is an enormous sense of satisfaction when you see all that effort pay off!
How has maths changed your life?
Maths has helped me to see the world differently – I appreciate its patterns and connections in everything from music to architecture to stories. And it has enabled me to help others – I love that knowing maths is like having a key to unlock all kinds of paths and opportunities that my past students have been able to pursue because of their mathematical knowledge and understanding.
Why did you choose the topic of STEM for your new book?
STEM is such a wonderful way to see how mathematics is related to the modern world. Science, technology and engineering all speak the language of maths, and so I love using these contexts as ways to help people experience how practical and useful maths can be.
How do you practically explain STEM in your new book?
I provide lots of practical examples of scientific thinking and mathematical reasoning power the technological innovations and engineering solutions that we rely upon every day.
When did you discover the power of YouTube?
YouTube launched around the same time that I started my career as a teacher, but in the early days it had nothing to do with learning. But eventually I started to discover that people could make amazing videos that could convey ideas in really clever ways, and in 2012 I decided to start recording my own classroom videos to put on the platform. I had no idea that 11 years down the track I would have millions of views from literally every country in the world!
When kids are struggling with maths, how do you usually tackle this issue? And what advice would you give to other teachers struggling with the same problem?
I always begin by going backward in time – finding the place where mathematical ideas still made sense, and then working out the exact point where things started to become confusing. At that point, I usually find a misconception or a gap in learning – and once I can address that, the pieces start to fall into place. My advice here is that patience and thoughtful questioning are the key – as teachers we need to be just as good at listening as we are at explaining.
What do you want students to achieve with this bumper book of STEM and STEAM activities?
I want everyone to have fun with these activities and explore new ideas – to experience the joy that can be found in learning maths!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR