He’s the maths teacher making school cool again.

Eddie Woo is helping people all over the globe with their numeracy skills, racking up more than 36 million views on his WooTube page and opening our eyes to the magical world of numbers.

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“One of the tricky things about maths is if you don’t understand the smallest little character or symbol, then sometimes you’ll look at an equation or a problem and you’re like, because I don’t understand this one little bit, everything else just doesn’t make sense at all,” Woo said.

“A lot of people say to me, I was okay with maths until they started putting letters in there – and of course a lot of things in mathematics depends on that. So because all of the knowledge is interconnected, that can certainly make it a challenge.”

## The gender debate

Almost two-thirds of students doing high-level maths at school are boys – but Woo admits he finds this “puzzling”.

“Girls are some of the best mathematicians I’ve worked with in my top maths classes,” Woo said.

“I think encouraging girls from a young age about that positive mindset and a different way of thinking can really encourage them.”

## Co-ed vs single sex

A study recently published in the US also revealed girls are more competitive at single-sex schools.

“Children are all different – and I know my own three kids, despite having grown up in what I felt was more or less a consistent environment, have totally different personalities and preferences for how they learn,” Woo said.

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“There are certainly some children who really benefit from a single-sex environment.

“I love working in a co-ed school because I also think that has advantages and different ways of thinking. The diversity that’s in that kind of school is also its own strength.”

Many parents opt for tutoring for some extra help as well – but Woo says it can be “damaging”.

“Some students can follow the steps that they’ve memorised, but they don’t understand why those steps actually work,” Woo said.

“Of course, that’s not always the experience – but you do have to be very careful.”

## Sydney Science Festival

Now, the Australian Local Hero has teamed up with the Sydney Science Festival – speaking to a sell-out crowd over the weekend about the hidden world of maths.

“We think of mathematics in a really narrow sense – most of us think it’s all about numbers, but it’s more than that,” Woo said.

**Find out more about the Sydney Science Festival here.**