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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Mad 4 more maths?!

Ongoing Maths Events
Even though Maths Week Ireland 2013 is over, there are still plenty of maths activities to get involved with!
It is still International Year of Statistics and Year of Mathematics of Planet Earth see more below.
1. Maths Eyes
Maths Eyes encourages students and members of the public from any age group to re-examine their environment in order to see the Maths all around us- geometric shapes, patterns, numbers, algebra and much more. As part of Maths Week Ireland 2013, we teamed up with the Maths Eyes team at Institute of Technology Tallaght to launch two national competitions. The first of these is the Maths Eyes Poster competition. Entries for this competition close at 5pm Friday November 22nd 2013.  Shortlisted entries will be announced at Friday 25th January 2014. Shortlisted entries will be available via the Maths Week Ireland Website ( & the Maths Eyes website (
The second of the competitions run by the Maths Eyes team is the Real World Geogebra challenge. This competition uses the freely available GeoGebra software ( which allows you to alter images with graphical and algebraic input. This competition calls for entrants to take a photograph from their local area, insert it into GeoGebra and use its tools to highlight the mathematics that you see in the image. Closing date and shortlist announcement are the same as above and shortlisted candidates will be announced once again on both sites.
For full competition details, rules and more, please visit
2. SNAP Maths Fairs
SNAP Maths Fair are Student-centred, Non-competition, All-Inclusive, Problem-based challenges for the whole spectrum of primary level students. Designed and organised by the SNAP Mathematics Foundation (
The first ever Irish SNAP Maths Fair took place during Maths Week Ireland 2013. St Joseph’s National School, Dundalk ran a SNAP Maths Fair with a Halloween theme! SNAP Maths Fairs are a great opportunity for allowing your student to engage freely with maths problems, in a fun and encouraging environment. Students are presented with a maths challenge that they must solve. After solving this challenge they then present the maths problem in a fun, visual way to their peers. Challenges are designed to have a visual component and to allow students to come up with their own unique solution. In St Joseph’s National School, the students presented an array of spooky Halloween themed puzzles adapted to suit all ages.
Check out their great video here. It gives a good account of the process (12 mins)
Or the shorter scary trailer
This initiative can take place throughout the year, or maybe you would like to hold one for next years Maths Week. If you need guidance on running a SNAP Maths Fair for your own school or class, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
3. LASCO Maths Challenge
The Latin American Street Children Organisation (LASCO) is a charitable organisation focused on developing healthcare and education for the Homeless Street Children of Latin America. Founded by Franz Schlin Dwein from Derry/Londonderry in 2010, this organisation runs several Maths Challenges throughout the year, aiming to promote their work as well as the importance and fun of mathematics. The challenges are open to primary (final two years) and post-primary schools all over the island of Ireland. There is a fee to enter and the prizes up for grabs are over £5000 worth of maths and education resources! The next LASCO Maths Challenge is open for entry from Monday 3rd February 2014 and will be open for 2 weeks. Full details of prizes and how to enter are available
4. International Year of Statistics
2013 is International Year of Statistics, a global event aimed at developing public understanding of an important but often misunderstood branch of mathematics. Maths Week Ireland will be developing material and events on statistics in support of this event in 2013.
There is a great international quiz for schools about statistics available online-
RoI Central Statistics office CSO
NI Northern Ireland Statistical Research
UK Office for National Statistics ONS
5. John Hooper Medal for Statistics 2014 Competition
The competition is over for 2013 and the winners were awarded their prizes at a ceremony during Maths Week in October (details below). But it is good to consider this great event for next year. The goal is to improve students' abilities to describe their environment with the help of statistics and to use statistics as a tool for making sense of daily life. There will be an international element to the poster competition this year so not only does your poster get a chance to win the John Hooper Medal for Statistics, but, your poster could represent Ireland in the International Statistical Literacy Project poster competition too. Registration is by teacher by January 31st, 2014. Posters to be submitted by April 11th, 2014. Details at
First prize and winners of the John Hooper Medal for Statistics 2013: Students: Aoife Troxel, Sive Neary, Dominican College, Taylor's Hill,Galway for their project Tracing the Roots of Irish Vegetables Teacher: Dee King. This poster represented Ireland in the International Statistical Literacy Program poster competition in the category - students born in 1994 and younger and was placed second in the world.
Second prize  Andrew Cullen, Tim Sheedy Blackrock College, Co Dublin, The Horsemeat Scandal  Teacher: Andrew McKimm
Third prize Sorcha Trainor, Jessica Donohue, Aislinn Mc Phillips St Louis Secondary School, Monaghan Make Mine Milk!.Teachers: Geraldine McCaffrey, Joanne Myres
6. Mathematics of Planet Earth:
The Maths of Planet Earth 2013 is a global initiative hoping to improve people’s understanding of the mathematics which is becoming an increasingly dominant force in our lives. From understanding climate systems and sustainability to geometry in technology and entertainment, this wide ranging and inclusive event will be another focus of Maths Week activities and resources.
7. Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums:
Series 2 is currently being repeated on TV station Dave. 
Irish born comical science enthusiast and UCD Maths and Physics Graduate Dara O’Briain has started a new maths based television programme, The School of Hard Sums. The show has had a very successful first season and a second has recently started, with Dara revealing a knack for expressing difficult and obscure content in an entertaining and accessible fashion. Dara is challenged by regular Maths Week Ireland supporter Professor Marcus du Sautoy and a group of students. This could be a very good vehicle from popularising maths in post primary schools. Dara attended our Maths Week session at ESOF 2012 and is a great populariser of maths and science. There are also some cool puzzles on the website -
8. Smart Futures:
Smart Futures is a national effort to promote science, technology, engineering and maths carers such as gaming, eco-friendly technology and internet security to second level students in Ireland. They have posted informational videos, visited schools and held competitions, all of which can be found on their website. The videos feature people working in various “cool” areas of STEM and are very much aimed at post primary schools.
9. Help My Kid Learn
Help My Kid Learn is a new website aimed at encouraging young children to get excited by learning. The site offers games, puzzles and other activities which parents can engage with their children and actively help them learn. Many parents have difficulty supporting their children’s school work and this site could be a major help for them.
10. STEPS 
STEPS to engineering have a monthly maths challenge for Junior Cert Students
And downloadable  teacher resources (Worksheets and videos) for “Real World Maths” developed especially for post-primary teachers who want to showcase real-world examples of maths in the classroom. 
11. International Maths Olympiad
Training for the Irish team selection takes place at a number of mathematics enrichment centres around the Island: NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Limerick. The first round of the 2013 Irish Olympiad will take place next week and we wish all the participants the very best. For further details on Maths Olympiad see
12. There are several online games focusing on developing and practicing mathematics skills. The first of these is a tried and tested favourite of Maths Week participants- Mangahigh ( Although the annual competition is over, the game still continues with plenty of challenges still available. Professor Keith Devlin , a maths professor at Stanford University in California and visitor to this year’s Maths Week has setup a company to develop maths learning games called Innertube Games. Professor Devlin has designed “Wuzzit Trouble” as a way of developing mathematical thinking and this new entry into the maths gaming market is sure to prove popular as it is now available for free on both Android and Apple devices via the Play Store and the Appstore.
13. BT Young Scientist, Sentinus Young Innovators/ Big bang NI  & Scifest
Although it is now too late to enter the BT Young Scientist and Technology competition for 2014, we wish all competitors and especially the maths projects the best of luck. It will run from 9-11 Jan at the RDS Dublin. It is a great place to bring school groups as there will be a lot of displays and demonstrations. The Maths Week Ireland team will be there to entertain and engage visitors with maths. This year is the 50th anniversary of the event and should be spectacular.
Pupils can also enter projects with mathematical themes to Sentinus Young Innovators (held in June in Belfast) Scifest (held mainly April/ May) .

14 Maths Week Posters
Our Maths Week posters have proven very popular unfortunately resources only allowed us to send 6 to each school. We have a few posters left over. If you would like some, please email us specifying which posters you want. Posters can be seen here

Check some of this stuff out!!


Mr. Sweeney.

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