In June 2021, the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW Sydney held its annual Girls Do The Maths day after a year of absence due to the pandemic. The event consisted of an in-person event but with a limited capacity as well as an additional online event the following week.

For the first time in the history of GDTM, we presented bespoke interactive workshops as part of the day’s activities. There were three workshops run during the face-to-face event, one of which was newly designed especially for the event, while the inaugural Girls Do The Maths online event consisted of a single workshop, which was also newly designed.

In light of the strict COVID safety requirements, presenting interactive workshops in a face-to-face setting created many operational challenges. In particular, the existing workshops required adaptation to run under circumstances for which they were not designed, while the newly designed workshops were designed with a greater emphasis on operational versatility.

The newly-designed workshops, titled ‘Counting Conundrums’, was designed to introduce students to the concept of bijection by comparing four interactive visual enumeration tasks. Many design choices were informed by the goals of fostering student engagement while both disguising the connections between the tasks and quietly encouraging the discovery of thinking ‘bijectively’.

In this talk, we will discuss the design process of the ‘Counting Conundrums’ workshop. We will also discuss some of the operational challenges that arose from the unusual circumstances presented by COVID and their direct impact on our usual equity considerations in outreach design as well as the mathematical and pedagogical value of the workshops.

We hope to leave enough time after the talk for discussions and to gain feedback from the audience ahead of the 2022 Girls Do The Maths Day that is set to take place sometime during Term 2.

School Seminar Series: 


Yudhistira Bunjamin and Sean Gardiner


UNSW Sydney


Wed, 09/03/2022 - 2:00pm


Zoom meeting