Student MATHletes spend 250,000 extra minutes doing their sums
Minister for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon (left) with tech entrepreneur Sean O'Sullivan

Student MATHletes spend 250,000 extra minutes doing their sums

19 Mar 2014157 Views

The MATHletes national maths tournament in collaboration with the Khan Academy has added up to an additional 250,000 minutes spent by Irish students on their maths, the organisers have said.

Aimed at transforming how students learn maths in Ireland, in the first month alone, MATHletes has seen students spend more than 250,000 minutes mastering 138,275 maths problems using the Khan Academy, the free online global educational resource. 

Every week, when the maths challenges are posted online, more than 1,800 students from more than 200 schools are logging onto the MATHletes website to do battle against each other and on behalf of their schools. 

As well as the €20,000 in prizes and the overall title of MATHletes Challenge Champion 2014 on offer, every month the MATHletes Monthly Challenge Cup is awarded to the schools at the top of the MATHletes leaderboards.

During February, the number of students signing up for MATHletes doubled each week, going from 250 to 500 and then to 1,000. However, last week saw a huge jump in numbers, with 800 students signing up – this represented an 80pc increase.   

“The MATHletes Challenge 2014 continues to go from strength to strength and the passion and enthusiasm from the students and teachers shows no sign of slowing down – if anything, it is getting stronger the further the competition goes on,” Kelly Kirkpatrick from MATHletes said.

MATHletes is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur and Dragons' Den star Sean O’Sullivan and is supported by the Department of Education and Skills and National Education Centres across Ireland.

For February, the winners of the MATHletes Monthly Challenge Cup came from the counties of Dublin, Galway, Mayo and Donegal, as follows: 

  • Fingal Community College, Swords, Dublin (Secondary Division: Total Points)
  • Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway, Galway (Secondary Division: Points per eligible student) 
  • St. Patrick’s BNS, Castlebar, Mayo (Primary Division: Total Points)
  • Cloughfin NS, Lifford, Donegal Primary Division (Points per eligible student)

MATHletes progress so far


John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist who served as editor of for 17 years. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service. He received of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and saw awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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