Maths Week has been taking place in Ireland every year since 2006 and has grown to attract participation from as many as 300,000 people annually across Ireland. We often don’t realise that maths is part of all facets of everyday life. Maths Week 2020 promises to be quite different due to the fact that large scale public events will now not be possible but Midlands Science is delighted to this year team up with Dublin City University lecturer in Mathematics Education, Dr. Aisling Twohill, to deliver our Maths Week activities in a new and virtual format so that we can stay safe while exploring the fun aspects of maths and all that it has to offer.
Aisling Twohill, Midlands Science Board member and lecturer in Mathematics Education, in the School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies at DCU said,
‘I am delighted to collaborate with Midlands Science for Maths Week 2020. We will be utilising stories to make maths more accessible and more enjoyable through a series of videos which will be available on Midlands Science social media platforms throughout Maths Week. Picture-books are a great way to introduce maths concepts in a child-centred way, and two of the videos will develop children’s ideas around spatial relations and fractions through the stories of ‘Winnie the Witch’ and ‘Mama Panya’s Pancakes’. We hope that encountering maths in such attractive, and accessible contexts will develop younger children’s appreciation for maths and encourage them to see maths as part of their everyday lives. For older children and adults, we will focus two videos on the stories of the History of Number and Fibonacci and with these, we will explore concepts such as sequences, place value and the historical connections of mathematics. Sometimes, the way maths is taught can feel quite repetitive, so we are also taking this opportunity to encourage everybody to have fun with maths through puzzles and games. We are even providing a few suggestions to get you started. Playing the games we’re suggesting will give you a chance to experience maths in a more dynamic and relevant way than you might have experienced through school textbooks!’
Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,
‘Maths is a key driver of innovation and growth and it impacts every aspect of life. Maths Week is a co-operative movement with local partners all over Ireland together with schools and teachers changing attitudes towards maths. It is coordinated by Calmast at Waterford IT and is an ideal opportunity for people of all ages to increase their appreciation and understanding of mathematics and it is part of our overall aim to try to make it more accessible to everyone. We are delighted to be working with Dr. Aisling Twohill who has made an enormous contribution to our work in promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) over the past year. We look forward to publicly sharing a number of innovative maths videos which Aisling has recently produced, to help us raise awareness of maths and to demonstrate how wide and varied maths can be as a possible career path.’
These puzzles are all available as apps or to play through a web browser.
- Hashi: https://www.conceptispuzzles.com/index.aspx?uri=puzzle/hashi
- Area Maze: https://www.transum.org/Maths/Puzzles/Area_Maze/
- Futoshiki: https://www.futoshiki.org/
- Kakuro: http://www.kakuro.com/
- Tetris: https://tetris.com/
Jackie Gorman continued,
‘Maths Week, which takes place from the 10th to 18th October, may not be the same this year due to unavoidable circumstances and our original plans for this year’s celebrations have obviously been somewhat impacted, but don’t forget to tune into our brand new maths videos which we really hope will spark an interest in maths and also please check out www.mathsweek.ie/2020 where you will find plenty of engaging maths activities to help improve attitudes towards maths as a subject, build confidence and demonstrate to children the value of maths as a lifelong skill that is linked so many aspects of the wider world around us.’