Make Maths Meaningful

Teach Maths lessons, through school waste audits, that help Year 7 and Year 8 students use their learning in real-life situations.
Target Audience
Secondary teachers, curriculum leaders and others teaching Mathematics Year 7 and Year 8 students.
15 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

Teach Maths lessons that help Year 7 to 8 students use their learning in real-life situations. You’ll discover how to make Mathematics meaningful to students through different types of waste and litter audits at your school. You’ll also get support to differentiate your teaching and extend your students' learning.

Watch videos and explore a range of teaching resources, documents and websites that you can use straight away. Download a course handout to refer to anytime. Once you’ve completed the course, you will be able to teach student-led waste audits and share your learning with others.


Secondary teachers, curriculum leaders and others teaching Mathematics Year 7 and Year 8 students.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Most TTA online courses are available with an Online Subscription. For a little more than the price of one course, you can gain up to 20 PD hours per year. Learn more HERE.

A short online course is delivered over 1-3 weeks in duration and is worth 2-3 PD hrs depending on the course content and its objectives. Participants will not need to take time off, the course date is the START date only, end dates will be advertised with course hours.

This course is an updated version of ‘What a Load of Rubbish (Secondary)’ -

Watch videos, enjoy short activities and explore free resources.

This course is always open and you can join at any time.

Please note that we run this online course on the Open Learning platform, and you should expect an invitation to the course within 2 working days. There are no set times when you must attend any webinars etc, everything you need will be ready to access inside the course. If you have any problems accessing the course please contact and we will assist you.

This course contributes to 2.0 professional development hours.


  Start Date Location Availability Price    
Enrol Now 01/03/2018 Online Places available $89 + GST Enrol Now


1. Introduction

20 minutes

Read about course requirements, meet your group and think about what mathematics education means to you.

2. Landfill and Recycling

40 minutes

Learn about landfill and recycling at your school. Access a range of Maths lesson plans that will your students conduct real-life waste audits.

3. Litter

20 minutes

Discover what happens to litter at your school. Explore a range of Maths teaching resources that will help you teach how to conduct litter audits.

4. Take Action

15 minutes

Think about how to extend your students’ learning and find out what other teachers have done.

5. Reflection

15 minutes

Use a fun reflection tool to think about your learning and consider your next steps.

Further Study

No duration specified

After you’ve completed the course, you are welcome to explore these bonus lessons to deepen your learning.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Matthew O'Connor on 21/09/2017

I enjoyed the practical nature and to find the organisation Cool Australia

Make Maths Meaningful
by Avital Melman on 27/08/2017

I found this course very helpful and gave me the tools to start writing my own project for Year 7 & 8 students.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Qi Zhou on 17/07/2017

I think this is an excellent course which allows teachers to brainstorm what sort of ideas teachers can implement as a real project.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Mitchell Smith on 17/07/2017

Valuable course which provided some great ideas for implementation of Recycling topic in junior maths/science classroom.
The flexibility of this program and it’s easy to follow process was a great way to engage the participants. The content provided shows some quality real life connections.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Lila Gulabovska on 17/07/2017

More mathematics shown in the videos would have been meaningful.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Matthew Wall on 17/07/2017

Lots of great ideas.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Moira Jefferson on 17/07/2017

Lots of ideas for how students can be involved in recycling but would have liked more mathematics in the course.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Margo Stanford on 17/07/2017

I would like to have seen more mathematics used in the plans.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Margaret Jakeman on 17/07/2017

I would like to have seen more mathematics used in the lesson plans

Make Maths Meaningful
by Craig Young on 06/06/2017

It was great to be exposed to the range of resources on the Cool Australia website and to see what other schools are doing in this important area of sustainability.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Hilary Page on 06/06/2017

Informative course which really depicts how large the problem of littering and pollution still is in Australia, and how we can incorporate mathematics into our lessons to analyse some of this information.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Robin Laverty on 18/04/2017

Great resources. Easy to follow instructions.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Chris Barrett on 18/04/2017

Great insights into waste, litter, recycling. Some engaging videos. Lots of good links on coolmath website.
Feel confident enough to spend some time creating a unit.

Make Maths Meaningful
by Rhys Williams on 15/12/2016

I found the video by Jo Boaler particularly challenging to update my knowledge of research into how students (especially the strugglers) become confident in their Maths. The waste audit idea has the potential to be a great initiative on (at least) two fronts; namely student engagement and making a positive environmental impact (more by changing student and staff behaviour than just the reduction in waste at the school).

Make Maths Meaningful
by Sharon Ison on 08/12/2016

A great project based learning unit.

About the team

Kirsty Costa - Cool Australia


Kirsty helps teachers grow in their profession. She is the Head of Professional Development at Cool Australia, inspiring hundreds of educators each year. Kirsty shares her 15+ years of teaching and training experience. In her courses, she creates a dynamic space for teachers to be creative and curious. She builds teacher confidence and makes information relevant, helpful and powerful. Kirsty also has a background in communication and talking to people about change.

This course is FREE with Online Subscription


If you hold a current TTA Subscription you can enrol into this course for free. To learn more, visit

Please review the course details to learn how many PD hours this course contributes.

Cool Australia


Cool Australia is an award winning not-for-profit dedicated to supporting educators with tools to foster ‘learning for life’. We help integrate topics around sustainability, ethics, economics and wellbeing across the curriculum. This enables teachers of all age groups and disciplines to engage young Aussies in real-life learning whilst achieving Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework outcomes. Our accredited professional development is designed to build your confidence, understanding and expertise. You will learn through a mixture of practical and thinking activities as well as hearing the stories of others. Plus you will access a range of teaching tools that can you can use straight away in your teaching.