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Welcome to the May Newsletter
As May comes it is the beginning of the end for the school year. In our May newsletter we mark International Women in Maths Day with a number of stories about some inspiring young women. We also have produced some resources for Ukranian students we are welcoming into your country.
We also have our regular column from Douglas Buchanan with some thought-provoking ideas and excellent resources for teachers. 
So as we look forward to the summer months we hope you enjoy the news, resources and coming events we have to share with you.

In this issue:

Best wishes,
The Maths Week Team
Maths Week 2022
The dates for Maths Week 2022 have been announced! It will take place from the 15th to the 23rd of October 2022. The Maths Week team are already planning the programme, as a hybrid of online and in-person activity. If you have any ideas please get in touch. 

Keep an eye on our website and social media for all the latest updates.
Maths Week resources translated to Ukrainian


Maths is one of the few universal languages in society that can bring minds together no matter their background. Maths is for everyone. It is very important in our lives and we all use maths every day, from counting our change, to looking at bus and train timetables, and a whole lot more.
Due to the war in Ukraine, Irish schools are welcoming many Ukranian refugees into their classrooms. Maths Week Ireland saw it fit to make this huge transition for teachers and students a little bit easier when it comes to maths. We have translated some of our popular Maths Week puzzles into Ukrainian along with a page of our website explaining what Maths Week is and why maths is so important in our everyday lives.
The five puzzle PDF's can be downloaded Here. These resources include the Hamilton puzzle, the river crossing problem, a maze puzzle, an emoji puzzle and a Magic Triangle. 
Don’t worry if you get stuck, or make a mistake. It is by making mistakes that we learn! Visit today.

A Comic Story about Maryam Mirzakhani

  • Maryam Mirzakhani was an outstanding mathematician, one of the most notable minds of this millennium, and May 12, 1977 is her date of birth. When she died on July 15, 2017, the pain in the mathematical community was so enormous that in 2018, on the occasion of the first World Congress of Women in Mathematics, it was decided that May 12 would become the date on which to celebrate all the women in mathematics.
  • In celebrating this anniversary, the Italian Mathematical Union has decided to create a volume of the Cnr Edizioni series Comics & Science with a story that has Maryam as its main character.
  • What is mathematical billiards? What trajectory does the ball make when bouncing off its tables? Is it possible to find a billiard table where, given the starting point of the ball, there are inaccessible points? And what do donuts and pretzels have to do with it? Some of these curious questions – actually, profound mathematical questions – were sought by mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to win the Fields Medal.
To see the full article and comic Click Here
Maths News celebrating women in Maths
Meet the Irish NASA scientist on the Forbes 30 under 30 list
Caoimhe Rooney
  • In celebration of International Women in Maths day which took place on May 12th, meet Caoimhe Rooney from Belfast who is the sole mathematician in a group of astrophysicists at the NASA Ames Research Center. Caoimhe featured in Forbes latest 30 under 30 list.
  • Born in Belfast, Rooney studied pure maths at Trinity College Dublin before undertaking her PhD in applied maths at the University of Oxford. “When it came to space, I was mesmerised by the night sky and staring at the stars, and I loved how unknown and unexplored it was. I always longed to contribute to the understanding and exploration of space and the universe.”
  • Now, Rooney works as a mathematician at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, studying exoplanet atmospheres to understand how they formed, what they’re made of, and if they could be home to extra-terrestrial life. “I think it’s also very important to educate the public and the younger generations about the research we’re doing so that everyone can appreciate the wonder of our universe and inspire the next generation of scientists and change-makers.”
  • While change has been happening in the STEM industry in terms of gender balance, Rooney said there’s a lot more work to be done – especially in maths and science, which are “genderised at a very early age”.
To read the full article on Silicon Republic Click Here
Meet the schoolgirl (11) set to take the Junior Cert maths exam


A Tipperary schoolgirl (11) will be taking on the extraordinary challenge of sitting the Junior Cert maths exam, despite only being in 5th class.

  • Cara Darmody has spent over 300 hours studying for the exam that she will take this summer, in a bid to raise funds for autistic children in her local primary schools, Ardfinnan National School and Scoil Chormaic Special School. 
  • Not only is the 11-year-old hoping to raise €10,000 for occupational and speech therapy in the two schools through the online fundraiser, she has also called on Taoiseach Mícheal Martin or Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to visit the area and see the issues themselves. 
  • The Ardfinnan native has two younger brothers, Neil (9) and John (5), who are both autistic and non-verbal, and she said it “annoys” her how few services are available for autistic children in Tipperary, so she wanted to do something about it. 
  • The schoolgirl's father, Mark Darmody, took it upon himself to teach her the Junior Cert cycle. One day a week Cara does 10 hours of maths with her father, and he also gives her work that she can do in the classroom when the other children are doing their sums.
  • Mark has stressed that none of the money raised will be going towards therapies for his two sons, it will be for others in the community who are struggling. 
To read the full article visit the Independent website.
Target Boards for May
Target Boards will make their return this Friday.
We will continue the Spring Campaign to the end of meteorological Spring which is the end of May, so we will run every Friday until 27 May. 
If you are not already registered already for the Spring2022 campaign, you will have to register your class. 
Targetboards and can be accessed through Games and Competitions.

Maths at Work

Do you have a story to tell? 
If so, get in touch with us about how you use maths at work.
Contact us at [email protected] or fill in our form at
The Atlas of Irish Mathematics 30: Fermanagh

Maths Ireland Blogs - Fermanagh
Our 30th bi-monthly regional Irish-focused blog highlights mathematical people associated with Fermanagh.
29 means that our intrepid maths chronicler, Colm Mulcahy has nearly visited all counties on the island. Although, his work wont be finishing any time soon as he will be revisiting some of the larger centres - Dublin, Belfast, Cork etc. to bring those listings up to the present day. 
To view the latest blog and all previous blogs, visit the Mathematics Ireland website.
The Maths Map of Ireland
The Maths Map of Ireland is an exciting new project from Maths Week Ireland and the ESB. The project has created a Maths Map; to include historical places and people relevant to maths; maths trails and contemporary maths figures and places of interest. 

If you would like to add to the Maths Map of Ireland, please email [email protected] with the subject MATHS MAP. 

Resources with National Numeracy Day UK
Visit National Numeracy Day UK to find free resources for Kids and Adults. For adults, talks surrounding the topics of Maths at work, managing money, helping kids with maths and more can be found, along with resources to help with maths anxiety. For kids, talks and activites with personalities like Bobby Seagull and Harry Baker are available.


Dates for your diary in 2022:

May 18th
National Numeracy Day UK

June 20-24th
24th Conference of the International Linear Algebra Society, Galway

July 6-14th

International Congress of Mathematicians 

October 15-23rd 
Maths Week Ireland

Get ready for National Numeracy Day UK

  • National Numeracy aims to challenge negative attitudes, influence public policy and offer practical ways of helping adults and children improve their numeracy in the community, the workplace and formal education.
  • National Numeracy Day takes place on the 18th of May and is looking to get as many schools, workplaces and organisations involved as possible.
  • Schools and communities can sign up and become National Numeracy Day Champions. If you sign up now, in the build up to May 18th you will receive free materials and resources to use and share to join over 2,810 other champions
To sign up visit

This meeting attracts maths education specialists and teachers from around the world. 
More info here 

Follow us on social media to join in our
Puzzle of the Week every Saturday!
Follow us on social media for updates:
Facebook: @MathsWeek
Twitter: @mathsweek
Instagram: MathsIreland
LinkedIn: Maths Week Ireland
Tiktok: @MathsWeek
Get in touch, give feedback and feel free to share your ideas and resources.

DCBEAGLE Challenges

BEYOND THE TEXTBOOK – Maths Week Ireland

Douglas Buchanan ~ [email protected] ~ ~ @dcbeagle1

Time flies and we are now in the summer term in the Northern Hemisphere, probably the most creative term after the dreaded assessment programme is over. How often have you, in maths lessons, asked the pupils to carry out surveys, the most popular one being “My Favourite Subject”?!
Has maths been the top dog beating the likes of art, music, sport and PE? I was lucky I did experience this because of a dedicated and motivated team of teachers at the time.

My favourite subject is maths!
In a blog post created by Speed Labs it lists strategies for increasing student motivation in maths:
1.         Follow an assessment strategy
2.         Show a sequential achievement:
3.         Practice scaffolding
4.         Pour a challenge
5.         Entice the class with a “gee-whiz” mathematical result
6.         Indicate the usefulness of a topic
7.         Use recreational mathematics
8.         Tell a pertinent story
9.         Get students actively involved in justifying mathematical curiosities
All these strategies are discussed on the website. The Blog concludes ……
“Teachers of mathematics must understand the basic motives already present in their learners. The teacher can then play on these motivations to maximize engagement and enhance the effectiveness of the teaching process. Exploiting student motivations and affinities can lead to the development of artificial mathematical problems and situations. But if such methods generate genuine interest in a topic, the techniques are eminently fair and desirable.”

Puzzles of the month (Henry Dudeney 1857 - 1930)
"Yes, when I take my dog for a walk," said a mathematical friend, "he frequently supplies me with some interesting puzzle to solve. One day, for example, he waited, as I left the door, to see which way I should go, and when I started he raced along to the end of the road, immediately returning to me; again racing to the end of the road and again returning. He did this four times in all, at a uniform speed, and then ran at my side the remaining distance, which according to my paces measured 27 yards. I afterwards measured the
distance from my door to the end of the road and found it to be 625 feet. Now, if l walk 4 miles per hour, what is the speed of my dog when racing to and fro?"
Creating a Maths Fair
This is very much a follow-on from the first article. This comprehensive guide from actually is related to organising an INSET day for teachers but there are interesting activities, starting from Page 11, which can be adapted for your pupils. The analysis given is interesting reading and could be used in future INSET meetings.
We do not appreciate the amount of learning the pupils are experiencing in “fun” lessons. You will be surprised.
Let’s Play Games
thirdspacelearning – a wide range of activities for all ages.
Paper and pencil  maths games – presentation of various games which are simple to administer
Dice games – 20 games from

Puzzles of the month solutions
The Man and the Dog
The dog's speed was 16 miles per hour.
Final words
If anybody would like me to do any research for them to find appropriate material for a topic, for a certain group of pupils, or for family participation please do contact me.


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Our mailing address is:

Maths Week Ireland, Calmast, STEM Engagement Hub, 

Cork Road Campus, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford 


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