Maths Week Ireland 2021 promises a number of ‘action-packed’ events

15 Oct 2021

Minister for Education Norma Foley at the launch of Maths Week with pupils from Scoil Chaoimhin. Image: Mark Stedman

Maths Week’s eight-day long celebration of all things numerical will involve fun events for everyone from ages three to infinity.

Maths Week Ireland is upon us once again, with this year’s events kicking off from tomorrow (16 October).

The eight-day celebration of all things mathematical will see a number of events taking place all over the country, including maths magic workshops, family scavenger hunts, walks and maths challenges.

Similar to last year’s Maths Week, events will mostly be held online or in schools due to Covid-19 precautions.

“The high levels of engagement and success of Maths Week 2020 has shown that we are able to deliver entertaining and interesting activities for schools and the public through a virtual platform, and this will continue during Maths Week 2021,” said Eoin Gill, Maths Week Ireland coordinator.

“Maths will always be a part of our lives and Maths Week 2021 is a celebration of this. We’re really excited to deliver another action-packed programme full of events where participants can enhance their skills and interest in maths.”

The MathsWeekTV channel will return this year to broadcast two daily programmes live online. One show will be aimed at primary school children, while the other will be aimed at second-level pupils and classes.

MathsWeekTV will feature presenters such as Dr Tom Crawford, mathematician and creator of the website TomRocksMaths; author of the Murderous Maths books, Kjartan Poskitt; TV presenter and maths teacher Bobby Seagull; and children’s author and maths teacher Sally Lunt.

This year, Maths Week’s organisers have also teamed up with a storyteller who will deliver a mathematical adventure designed for pre-school children and three to six-year-olds.

As well as events for kids, there will be plenty of things for adults to keep an eye out for. Maths Week Ireland’s annual awards ceremony event will celebrate people who have made notable contributions to raising public awareness of maths. Last year’s winner was maths lecturer and education advocate Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.

The Hamilton Walk will return this year as an outdoor socially distanced event. The walk, named after the mathematician William Rowan Hamilton, begins at Dunsink Observatory and goes to Broombridge in Dublin, where he made his famous mathematical discovery.

Maths Week is co-ordinated by Calmast, Waterford Institute of Technology’s STEM outreach centre, and funded through the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, the Department of Education, the Department for the Economy (NI), ESB and Xilinx. It is run with more than 50 partner organisations including universities, institutes of technology, libraries, schools, training colleges and employers.

“Maths Week increases public interest in the subject and explores its positive effects in our world, as well as furthering our understanding of all walks of life through maths,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for society at Science Foundation Ireland.

“Maths is essential to many jobs, the functioning of our society and the success of our economy, and I encourage everyone to get involved in the activities taking place across the island.”

The full programme and details of how to get involved are available on the Maths Week website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.