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Hello and welcome to the August edition of the Maths Week Newsletter!
Welcome back to teachers and pupils returning to the classroom. We wish you a positive term ahead and hope things return to normal soon!

Schools are starting the serious planning for Maths Week. In this newsletter we are delighted to be sharing some exciting Maths Week updates, including our 2021 posters, which are currently on their way to schools across the island of Ireland. We have a range of posters to suit all ages and which can be used in class. Check them out below, or go straight to to view them all.  

We are also excited to have opened registration on, where teachers can register their school's participation in Maths Week (16-24 October) and to be in with a chance to win a prize! 

Oonagh Trehin, 
STEM Engagement Coordinator
Maths Week Ireland
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In this issue:

Maths Week 2021 News
Register your School today!
Teachers are invited to register their class and/or school for Maths Week 2021 (16-24 October). 
Simply go to and complete the short registration form. 
All registered schools are in with a chance to win a set of Izak9 Cubes! 


Once your school is registered, check out our range of resources and start planning your Maths Week activities for 2021. We have resources to help you run maths trails, a maths puzzle day, a code breaking day, a maths maze and much more, plus we will be bringing back Maths Week TV, featuring your favourite maths presenters!

How will your school celebrate Maths Week 2021?

Maths Week 2021 Posters
Our Maths Week posters are currently on their way to every school on the island! 

Our posters are aimed at different age groups and this year include:
- Maths in the Jungle for Junior Primary
- Climate Action with Maths for Senior Primary
- Maths at Work for Junior Secondary
- Celebrating Women in Maths for Senior Secondary
(See thumbnails below)
All posters can be viewed and downloaded from our website, where we will be posting additional resources for use with the posters.


Looking ahead to the new academic year, the Calmast STEMreach programme will commence once more in September.
The initiative was developed to provide sustained engagement through partnership in the South-East in Ireland.

The STEMreach Creative Problem Solving module is very popular with Transition Year coordinators and maths teachers. The STEMreach Sustainability module will also be running this term. Both will be delivered remotely in the Autumn term, so schools anywhere in the country who are interested in participating should enquire. Calmast would also welcome enquires from schools in Northern Ireland.  

If you are interested in getting involved with STEMreach for TY in the new academic year please email
Find out more
Schools News

Schools News -North
Well done to students who received CCEA, AS, A level and GCSE results earlier this month.

  • About 25,000 pupils received A-level and AS-level results. Almost 51% of A-level entries were awarded A* or A grades, which is a record and a rise from about 45% in 2020.
  • About 29,000 students in Northern Ireland received their GCSE results. Grades A* and A were awarded to just under 40% of GCSE entries, which is up from 37.1% in 2020. 
  • Mathematics was the most popular A Level subject, followed by Biology, Religious Studies, History and English. 
  • There has been a significant increase in girls taking on STEM subjects, with increases in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Design and Technology. 
  • At GCSE level, STEM subjects accounted for 42% of all GCSE entries in 2021, an increase of 3.9% on the previous year. 

Schools News - South

Primary schools are set to fully reopen again this week across the country. 
We wish teachers, pupils and parents a positive start to the new school term. 


LEAVING CERTIFICATE STUDENTS will get their results later this week on 3 September. Best of luck! 

CAO choices 2021:

  • There has been an increase of 15% in first-preference choices for nursing, pharmacy and medicine. Biological and related sciences are up in first preferences to 3,698, an increase of 16% on 2020. 
  • Trinity College Dublin has noted first-preference applications for computer science are up 56% and engineering 44%. Medicine applications rose by 58%, with gains also recorded across dentistry, science, pharmacy and physiotherapy. 
  • UCD has had increases in radiography (up 188%) and sustainability (up 124%). Common entry degrees in engineering, science and computer science also all recorded gains.  



The autumn term TargetBoard is now live on
Take part now to get your school on the leader board!
Maths Resources
Maths at Home
We have developed a series of age appropriate resources to help support the learning of maths at home. You can catch up on all the activities we have released to date at

Maths Games
Visit for a range of maths-based games, including simultaneous simultaneous equations, shape matching, puzzles and much more!

The Wonderful Gathering for Gardner Foundation presents monthly online events.  The "Celebration of Mind" events are of excellent quality and cover maths, art, magic and more.
Information on events can be found here 
Previous events can be viewed 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
Get in touch, give feedback and feel free to share your ideas and resources.
Maths News

Congratulations to Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell on being awarded the Copley Medal! 

Prof Bell Burnell has received the award for her work on the discovery of pulsars, and in doing so becomes the second female to be awarded the world’s oldest scientific prize.  

The award includes a £25,000 gift which Dame Jocelyn will add to Institute of Physics' Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund, providing grants to graduate students from under-represented groups in physics. 


Prof Bell Burnell said on winning the award “With many more women having successful careers in science, and gaining recognition for their transformational work, I hope there will be many more female Copley winners in the near future.” 

“My career has not fitted a conventional – male – pattern. Being the first person to identify pulsars would be the highlight of any career; but I have also swung sledgehammers and built radio telescopes; set up a successful group of my own studying binary stars; and was the first female president of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.” 

“I hope that my work and presence as a senior woman in science continues to encourage more women to pursue scientific careers.” 

If you would like to hear more about the discovery of radio pulsars and Jocelyn’s work, you can watch her talk from Robert Boyle Summer School June 2021 here: 

The Irish government has just launched plans to stimulate a national conversation on research and science. 

Creating our Future aims to build on the success of research and science in our battle against Covid-19 and ask the public how we can shape a better Ireland through research and science.The conversation will begin in July and will run until November and will be overseen by an Advisory Forum, which was convened  by Minister Simon Harris. 

The programme will be managed by SFI and we would encourage people to get involved and in particular would urge people to voice the importance of mathematics and its applications. 

See here for more details

Lack of math education negatively affects adolescent brain and development 

A new study (published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) suggests that not having any math education after the age of 16 could be disadvantageous. 133 students between the ages of 14-18 took part in an experiment run by researchers from the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. 
Young people in the UK don't have to study maths after GCSEs, which is different from most countries. The study found that students who didn't study maths had a lower amount of a crucial chemical for brain plasticity (gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA) in a brain region involved in many cognitive functions, including reasoning, problem solving, maths, memory and learning. Researchers were able to discriminate between adolescents who studied or did not study maths, independent of their cognitive abilities and based on the amounts of GABA found. Additionally, the amount of GABA accurately predicted changes in maths attainment scores more than a year later. 

The aim of the research is to understand the relationship between learning and brain plasticity, with a particular focus on this through critical developmental periods. Of course, we strongly believe that it is beneficial for all to study maths, but it would be unwise to draw conclusions at this stage. It is an interesting possibility that  maths education could be of benefit for overall brain development.  
Read more here. 
The Maths Map of Ireland
The Maths Map of Ireland is an exciting new project from Maths Week Ireland and the ESB. The project will see the creation of a Maths Map; to include historical places and people relevant to maths; maths trails and contemporary maths figures and places of interest. 

If you are interested in contributing please email with the subject MATHS MAP. 

The Atlas of Irish Mathematics: Kilkenny Edition

The latest blog on Mathematics Ireland highlights mathematical people associated with Kilkenny. 

The big names from Kilkenny in earlier times are contemporaries Richard Helsham and George Berkeley, both born in the 17th century. However, the blog includes more than 30 Kilkenny mathematicians and covers many currently working in maths. 
To read the full blog and find out more visit
Also see many other counties, north and south, on the blog.


Sign the Petition

Dunsink Observatory is part of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and has been operated by DIAS since 1947. DIAS has a long term lease from the owner of the observatory, the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Every Year during Maths Week, The Hamilton Walk goes from Dunsink Observatory to Brooms Bridge to mark the famous discovery of quaternions by William Rowan Hamiltom. It follows the route of a proposed new cycle route - The Hamilton Way.

The virtual Hamilton Walk can be seen HERE

The  pedestrian and cycle route would link Dunsink Observatory, the Royal Canal Greenway, Ashtown, and the Tolka Valley Greenway and make the observatory more accessible for all. 

The 450 m long “Hamilton Way” would enable observatory staff and members of the public to access the Observatory in a safe and convenient manner by foot, bike or wheelchair. This would transform access to the Observatory and open it up to many more visitors from the local area and beyond.

Please click here to support the petition to Fingal County Council and Dublin City Council. 
Share your thoughts on the Hamilton Way by emailing All support welcome!

Gathering 4 Gardner Videos

The Gathering4Gardner Foundation celebrates the contribution of Martin Gardner to recreational maths, popularisation of maths, magic, art and skepticism. Their Celebration of Mind series features some of the best and most inspiring maths presenters, including inventors, magicians, mime acts, artists and more. 
See these free videos on their YouTube channel here 

What's On: Maths Events

Irish Mathematical Society September Meeting
2-3rd September
The 34th Annual Meeting of the Irish Mathematical Society, which will be held on September 2-3, 2021, jointly hosted by UCC and MTU. This is the main annual scientific meeting of the Society and includes the AGM.  

The conference webpage, with up-to-date information on speakers and fees, is available at: 

MATRIX × IMAGINARY joint conference
8-9th September 3-8pm daily
Maths Engagement, Museums and art:

The theme of this online conference is THE FUTURE OF MATHEMATICS ENGAGEMENT. Join us to discover innovations in math museums, exhibitions, new formats, technologies and inspiring ideas!
Register your interest here


16th Conference of The Mathematics Education for the Future Project: Building on the Past to Prepare for the Future
8-13th August 2022, King’s College, Cambridge University, UK.

Our conferences are renowned for their friendly and productive working atmosphere and are attended by innovative teachers and mathematics educators from all over the world. The Conference is organised by the Mathematics Education for the Future Project – an independent international educational initiative. The Mathematics Education for the Future Project is dedicated to the improvement of mathematics education worldwide through the dissemination of innovative ideas and materials. 
The deadline for abstracts is now extended to Sep 30. 
More details and booking information available here. 



Frontiers of Physics 2021 Annual Conference for ALL Teachers of Physics -including Junior Science

Saturday 25th September 2021
at Department of Experimental Physics, Maynooth University

It will be a day of lectures, demonstrations, and workshops, resources and networking for all teachers of physics including Junior Science Teachers. Are aims are: • To inform teachers of the exciting and innovative work at the Frontiers of Physics • To provide teachers with examples of simple and inexpensive physics demonstrations • To inform teachers of the latest developments and resources available in physics teaching • To provide an opportunity for teachers to meet others, exchange ideas and network

See or contact for more


DCBEAGLE Challenges

BEYOND THE TEXTBOOK – Maths Week Ireland

Douglas is taking a well earned break this month, and his popular "Beyond the Textbook" will be back next month!

Douglas Buchanan ~ ~ ~ @dcbeagle1



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