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Laghey and Garrison pupils making it all add up

Workshop activities, celebrating Maths Week

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

Laghey and Garrison pupils making it all add up

Pupils from St. Martin’s Primary School, Garrison with pupils of St. Eunan's NS, in Laghey, enjoying Maths Week workshop

Thirty-three pupils from St. Martin’s Primary School, Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, travelled to join 33 pupils of St. Eunan's NS, in Laghey, for a morning of Izak9 maths workshop activities, celebrating Maths Week, the all-island festival of maths and numeracy.

It an annual event dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of maths and numeracy among young people, parents and the wider population. Over 400,000 people, including students and the general public, will take part in events this week, across the island, focused on driving home the benefits of maths and all the opportunities it brings for individuals, society and the economy.

St. Martin’s Primary School, Garrison, with pupils of St. Eunan's NS, in Laghey harking skills and knowledge during Maths Week activities

Developed by mathematician Franz Schlindwein, Izak9 uses cubes populated with combinations of colours, numbers and shapes providing unlimited access to the skills of the maths curriculum. Children work together in small groups where the learning is open, visual, shared, rich and curious.

Maths Week Ireland is dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of maths and numeracy among young people, parents and the wider population.

Over 400,000 people, including students and the general public, will take part in events this week focused on driving home the benefits of maths and all the opportunities it brings for individuals, society and the economy.

Research carried out for Maths Week Ireland 2019 shows that a majority of parents believe their child’s attitude to maths is more positive than their own when they were the same age, while 86% of people believe maths is important in creating future career opportunities for their children.

The survey was completed in September among 1,000 adults nationwide by Coyne Research for Maths Week Ireland. It asked people for their opinion and attitudes towards mathematics, while those with children were also asked how attitudes towards maths had changed since they were a child:

- 61% of parents believe their child’s attitude towards maths is more positive than the attitude they had to the subject when they were their child’s age.

- 85% of parents believe that if their child is encouraged to have a more positive attitude towards maths, they will be more successful in learning the subject.

- 71% of parents are confident with helping their child with maths and numeracy.

- Half of adults said they or their spouses use maths actively in their jobs.

- Almost two thirds (64%) of all adults said maths plays an important role in their daily life.

- 86% of those with children believe maths education is important in creating career opportunities for their children’s future.

Problem solving pupils from St. Martin’s Primary School, Garrison and St. Eunan's NS, in Laghey, working together during Maths Week

As well as the overall benefits of maths and numeracy, this year’s events are focused on the use of mathematics in the separate fields of climate change and sports.

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary Irish mathematician, George Gabriel Stokes, whose maths is today used to model climate change. Maths Week 2019 has included Stokes’ work in events and information for schools and the general public throughout the festival, including lectures on maths in meteorology and climatology.