The beauty of Mathsweek is that all the education institutions across the North and South of Ireland – schools, universities, regional colleges, institutes of technology, education centres and authorities all combine together to produce an island wide extravaganza of mathematics, with events suited to people of all ages from all walks of life.
In total, more than 256,000 people took part in the week long celebration of all things mathematical, with events taking place across every county in Ireland. The all island festival of maths is unique and the largest of its type in the world, so every credit is due to the event’s organisers – Waterford Institute of Technology and the original founders Mathsweek Ireland, Calmast’s Eoin Gill and Sheila Donegan. Sheila says “So many people think that maths is something you do in school, and we want to show that actually it’s not just something you do in school, it’s vital to survive in the world. Everybody does maths.”
From our own view, we look at Mathsweek as an opportunity to sow seeds for the future. Schools are more likely to prioritise maths initiatives during this week in particular. They are likely to allow pupils to travel, experiment and collaborate in unprecedented fashion. This means that we can focus on the issues most important to us by bringing schools together – smoothing pupil transition from primary to secondary, addressing the gender imbalance in STEM subject uptake, delivering interactive teacher CPD and helping raise standards in the teaching and learning of mathematics.