2017 has proved to be the most successful year for Maths Week Ireland with over 40,215 pupils from across 218 schools in Northern Ireland taking part in a week-long series of events around the province. In County Down, a total of 47 schools took part which amounted to over 7,000 pupils.

In total over 240,000 pupils took part in Maths Week 2017 across the whole of Ireland, with an increase of 10% in participation across Northern Ireland. The weeklong event saw multi-talented maths educators and presenters perform magic, card tricks, and amazing mathematical predictions to fascinate and educate young people about maths.

Speaking on this year’s festival, Eoin Gill, event founder says: “We are delighted that, so many schools and colleges took part in Maths Week this year and it is phenomenal to have such a high turnout, despite the arrival of Ophelia, which forced the closure of schools for two days.

“Our aim has always been to promote a more positive attitude towards maths for all and demonstrate that Maths is much more than the textbook. Even the arrival of Ophelia was apt, as weather systems are understood and interpreted using Mathemathics.

“Plans are already underway for Maths Week 2018 and we hope to see the levels of engagement and involvement in the festival continue to grow.”

Dr. Gary Kennedy, Co-Founder and COO of Clarus Financial Technology is an advocate for the importance of Maths and its role in shaping the world today: “At Clarus we design and build high performance systems to value and risk manage complex financial instruments. This involves applying mathematical models to the financial markets and developing fast algorithms on computers that make use of those models. To the cliched question of high-school students, ‘When will I ever use Maths?’, the answer for me is ‘Every day of the week!’.

“Even for careers which do not use mathematics directly, I have seen those that who are trained as mathematicians are very successful across a wide variety of fields when they harness the potent skills developed as students of mathematics.”

Speaking on their school’s involvement in Maths Week 2017, Irene Mathieu, Head of Maths at Shimna Integrated College said: “We were delighted to be involved in Maths Week 2017. This special week is all about implementing positive messages and applications of maths early on, to showcase that the subject has an important place in the world today. Our pupils had a great time getting involved with the project and we look forward to next year’s celebration.”

Maths Week 2017 partners include W5, Ulster University, Queen’s University, Stranmillis University College, North West Regional College, Ulster Museum  and Armagh Planetarium. Maths Week 2017 took place across NI from the 14th to 21st October. More information on Maths Week can be found online via www.mathsweek.ie

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