While count stations across Ireland this weekend were adding up the votes that would make or break many a political career, a different kind of calculation was under way that would add up to €20,000 in prizes for successful MATHlete champions.
On Saturday at the CHQ building at the IFSC in Dublin, the 150 students that emerged from 3,000 taking part in the 2014 MATHlete Championships put their mathematical prowess to the test.
Cork-based tech entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan of SOSventures launched his brainchild, the MATHletes Challenge, at the beginning of February, with Department of Education and Skills Junior Minister Ciarán Cannon.
MATHletes makes use of the Khan Academy, a free online science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education provider, to improve the overall standard of Ireland’s math students.
“We have been overwhelmed with the success of the MATHletes Challenge and how the students of Ireland have embraced the Khan Academy,” MATHletes’ Kelly Kirkpatrick said.
“Collectively, they spent over 900,000 minutes doing maths while using the Khan Academy platform, which speaks volumes for how Irish students have really fallen in love with maths in an enjoyable and engaging way.”
The following winners were chosen out of the 3,000 students from fifth and sixth class in the junior cycle and first, second and third years in the senior cycle who have taken part in the MATHletes Challenge 2014.
· Conor Sheehan of Christian Brothers College, Cork, has been named as the top MATHlete in the country for third-year students.
· Danielle Farrelly of Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co Meath, has been named as the top MATHlete in the country for second-year students.
· David Olowookere of The Kings Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin 20, has been named as the top MATHlete in the country for first-year students.
· Quinn Painter, of Clondrinagh National School, Co Clare, has been named as the top MATHlete in the country for sixth-class students.
· Ciaran Rice, St Joseph’s National School, Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny, has been named as the top MATHlete in the country for fifth-class students.