Engineers Week can count on help from Dr Maths
A man who believes that maths should be fun has been sharing his own brand of teaching magic with Irish students.
Dr Maths, otherwise known as Dr Steve Humble of Newcastle University, has been touring Ireland talking as part of Engineers Week.
Yesterday, students packed the lecture theatre at the Engineers Ireland hq in Dublin to take part in his interactive workshop, which explored real-life applications of maths.
Dr Humble said it was important that maths teaching introduced items or topics that were relevant to students.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn joined in some of the fun and said it was important to encourage students to pursue maths and in particular higher level maths.
The importance of improving maths performance in Ireland has been underlined in international studies showing that Irish students perform below average.
Traditionally, there has been a poor uptake in higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate, although the awarding of 25 bonus points for a minimum D grade on higher level papers from last year has boosted interest.
Higher level maths is a key entry requirement for degree courses in engineering.
Engineers Ireland Director General John Power said students were beginning to understand the career benefits of a good grasp of maths, with many believing performance evaluation of maths teachers would help.
He was referring to a recent Engineers Ireland survey, which found that over 62pc of students thought maths teachers should be measured by performance.
Today, engineering firms from all over the country are running an open day with organised tours.