The Institute for Enquiring Minds is an educational initiative dedicated to helping under-resourced school students improve their maths skills. Our goal is to increase participation in advanced secondary school maths by providing free mathematical mentoring to financially disadvantaged students.
By working one-on-one with enthusiastic experts, young people can be helped to reset their mathematical self-belief and expectations of success.
Though talent is evenly distributed throughout our communities, opportunity is not. Our initiative challenges this status quo. We connect motivated learners for whom private tutoring would otherwise be out of reach with enthusiastic maths experts, so passionate about their subject they are willing to share their enthusiasm and knowledge free of charge.
How it works
We recruit volunteer maths wizards, The Institute's mentors, from among the best under and post graduate maths students, as well as from industry and retirees. Our mentors commit to at least a term's worth of 2 hours per week.
We award scholarships to deserving high school students based on financial need and a desire to learn. These are The Institute's scholars. Their scholarships grant them a term's worth of mentoring from one of our volunteer mentors.
We procure interesting safe spaces in which to host our mentor/scholar pairs. These spaces are where the magic happens. Students with a hunger to learn work intensively with passionate experts, there because they love doing and sharing maths.
We are able to establish these triads of mathematical learning by forging effective partnerships with universities, charities and businesses. We create a sense of community amongst our stakeholders by programming stimulating one-of-a-kind events. To continue our work empowering disadvantaged young people through free maths mentoring we rely on donations and sponsorship.
Our last event
Professor Arun Ram of The University of Melbourne is an internationally recognised mathematician and inspirational teacher. From the beginning he has been a generous partner and patron of The Institute, helping us, in particular, to recruit exceptional volunteer mentors.
In this unique presentation he told a series of stories, interweaving mathematics and music. Humorous, educational, personal, often all at once, these collected stories illuminated the remarkable journey of an enquiring mind who became a mathematician.
A mathematical mixtape from a life long road trip.
Where: RMIT Cinema, building 80, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne
When: Tuesday 31 July, 7pm for 7.30pm
In our first 6 months we delivered over 350 hours of free one-on-one maths mentoring…
"There's something quite amazing about fully understanding a concept, or finally "getting something", and we had so many of these moments together. The student I worked with had a genuine enthusiasm and curiosity for mathematics (and the wider world). I would get truly excited to see what we could cover in just one session, and am really proud of what we achieved overall." - Amy, mentor
"The mentoring program has tremendously impacted my level of confidence in approaching mathematical questions. My mentor is very humble, never gets tired of explaining every detail, generously gives his time when homework becomes stressful and reassures me that I have someone there for me. The belief and moral support I get, more than anything, makes me trust in myself as well as aspire to achieve. " - Yedidya, scholar
…to continue providing unique learning opportunities to deserving students we rely on donations
The Institute for Enquiring Minds is a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI), registered with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) and is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as having deductible gift recipient status. Donations are tax deductible.