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The 18th annual Maths Week Ireland ran from 14-22 October in schools, universities, and other locations across Ireland, north and south.

This year the festival reached over 500,000 participants in early childhood, primary and post primary education and the general public. Such was the level of success this year that Calmast SETU All-Island #MathsWeek2023 trended at number 1 on X, formally known as Twitter, in Ireland. 

Maths Week was established and is coordinated by Calmast, SETU’s STEM engagement centre and is a partnership across all education north and south, together with other groups concerned with the promotion of maths.  

Promoting maths

The mission of Maths Week is to improve attitudes towards maths and to encourage learners to succeed. The festival promotes maths and teaching and learning strategies and engages participants in maths in collaborative, creative and fun ways. It is being delivered by Eoin Gill and Dr Sheila Donegan, who founded and run Maths Week through Calmast. 

The model has proved hugely successful, so much so that all universities, including SETU, are partnering with Calmast to deliver maths-related activities – from hosting or visiting schools, to maths pub quizzes, maths films, and more. 

 “We are staggered by this year’s numbers” admitted Sheila, “Over 570 schools logged into one of our online events – that is about 14,000 students. Our social media activity has also exploded, and we trended in the top 10 and at number 1 on X (Twitter).” 

“We were delighted to see so many schools sharing photos of their maths trails, quizzes, drawings, activities, and attendance at our events in every county on the island. Downloads of our online puzzles and resources have also increased dramatically over the past month,” says Sheila. 

Mathemagician Thiago Hirth with Maths Fans in Galway

Maths for all

Eoin continued by saying, “Calmast has partnered with Food Cloud, to deliver maths puzzle activity packs to 133 charities from direct provision centres, retirement homes, homeless shelters, and others. 

“We are working with several other special groups including visually impaired and deaf children, Travellers, prison schools and others, as the guiding philosophy of Maths Week is ‘maths for all’.” 

Maths Week continued until Sunday, 22 October with a magnificent finale of Puzzles in the Park in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. A free public event, visitors were treated to a fantastic fun day of entertainment with puzzles, mazes, maths tricks, and more. The SETU Calmast team were delighted to welcome a strong SETU cohort to enjoy celebrating a highly successful #MathsWeek2023. 

Maths Week Scotland and Maths Week UK have been adopted as an annual event upon which founders Eoin and Sheila regularly advise and consult. 

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