Tuesday 21 October 2014

College has some of the country's top maths brains

Published 03/06/2014 | 05:32

Pictured at the MATHletes Challenge 2014 National Finals are (from left) Students from Fingal Community College, Swords, Co. Dublin pictured with teacher Ciara Chaney and Sean O’Sullivan of SOSventures

AT Fingal Community College they know their stuff when it comes to mathematics with students from the Swords school named the top 'MATHlethes' in the country.

At the MATHletes Challenge 2014 National Final, in the senior division of the Schools Challenge, the students from Fingal Community Collegewere named as the top MATHletes in the country with the highest number of skills mastered.

Launched at the beginning of February as the brainchild of Cork based tech entrepreneur Sean O'Sullivan of SOSventures and Department of Education and Skills Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon, MATHletes uses the global leader in free online STEM education – the Khan Academy – to improve the overall standard of Ireland's math students.

Schol principal Sharon McGrath, said: 'It is an innovative way to engage students in the learning of maths and was enthusiastically supported by our maths teachers – one of whom was invited to appear on RTE's morning TV show Morning Edition.

'Ciara Chaney spoke to the host Keelin Shanley last Thursday.

'When we won a previous heat TV3 came to the school and subsequently broadcast a piece on our achievement on TV3s Late Lunch Live. I'm extraordinarily proud of what the students have achieved. What a great way to finish a really successful year in Fingal CC!'

Sean O'Sullivan said: 'Ireland is languishing in the middle of the European pack when it comes to the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

'The introduction of the Khan Academy to Irish students through the MATHletes Challenge is just one part of an overall strategy to improve the standard of Irish students in maths. 'By developing a stronger foundation in maths, Irish students will be well-equipped with key skills that are required to take up jobs in export-led high-tech that are so desperately looking for talent.'

Competing for over €20,000 in prizes and the title of MATHletes Challenge 2014 national champion, the winners of the MATHletes Challenge 2014 national finals were determined by the students who had the highest scores following a multi-event format, consisting of three maths events designed to test the full range of the students' maths abilities.

Fingal Independent

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