Kids from both sides of the border are being added together to have fun with sums as part of a cross border, shared learning Maths Week Ireland initiative.

Eight schools from across Donegal, Derry and Tyrone will take part in the fun learning events using the unique Izak9 maths learning resource.

Izak9 is a set of colourful cubes which adds interactive play to maths class and has been proven in university studies to boost children’s enjoyment of the subject.

Izak9 creator Franz Schlindwein, a maths teacher turned inventor from Derry, said his company is delighted to partner with Maths Week Ireland to facilitate the ‘Maths with no borders’ workshops in Derry and Strabane.

“We’re looking forward to two wonderful events hosted by St. Catherine's PS in Strabane and Rosemount PS in Derry on October 18th and 20th respectively.

“Maths Week presents a great opportunity to sow seeds from which passion for mathematics can grow throughout the year and year on year. It is also a time to take risks with learning and break from normal classroom maths teaching practices.

“At each workshop, there will be four schools in attendance, two from the North and two from the South with a mix of Controlled, Catholic Maintained, Church of Ireland and National School children. The focus of the first workshop will be transition maths with the other workshop being more whole school maths/skills based,” he added.

The schools taking part in the initiative are Rosemount PS (host) and Model PS in Derry-Londonderry; St. Mura's PS, Buncrana, Co Donegal; Scoil Naomh Brid, Muff, Co Donegal; St. Catherine's PS (host), Strabane; Strabane Controlled PS; St. Patrick's NS, Murlog, Lifford, Co Donegal and Scoil Cholmcille, Cloughfin, Co. Donegal

Maths Week Ireland founder Eoin Gill said: “Franz has been working closely with the Shared Education and Transition projects and as a result of the outcomes of this work (www.izak9.com/efficacy), the Education Authorities in ROI are initiating pilot ventures to investigate factors affecting pupil transition and how to deliver the skills of the Irish Maths Curriculum, as well as looking into the teaching and learning of maths in Irish medium schools.

“Maths Week offers the unique opportunity for pupils from both sides of the border to meet and collaborate on maths related tasks together,” he added.

Now in its 12th year Maths Week has grown to be the biggest festival of its kind in the world engaging over 300,000 in 2016. At present we already have over 200 schools and over 30,000 pupils committed to participate this year across Northern Ireland. That figure is expected to grow considerably during Maths Week from October 14-22.

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