Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Learnstorm maths challenge now underway with cups and prizes for students and schools

LearnStorm Ireland, the maths challenge that has captured the imagination of the island, is now officially underway for students and schools, with invitations to in-person finals events and great prizes up for grabs. Thousands of primary and secondary students of all abilities have already have registered to participate in the challenge.

Ireland is ranked 15th in maths and science according to a 2015 report on universal basic skills by the OECD, indicating a critical need to raise performance in numeracy and problem solving. LearnStorm aims to improve these skills through a free, fun challenge that is accessible from anywhere. Through weekly activities, LearnStorm also helps students develop effective learning strategies to change attitudes towards maths as a subject.

Powered by Khan Academy, a not-for-profit on a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere, LearnStorm is available to students in Ireland with the support of The O'Sullivan Foundation and is being delivered locally by Camara Ireland.

“With an expanding technology sector driving job growth in Ireland, it is critical that we equip our graduates with the mindset and tools to succeed in STEM fields and careers. Ireland has the potential to be the best performing country in the world in technical disciplines. Key to this is strengthening young people’s maths confidence and competence and, every year, LearnStorm helps teachers and students to do this. We are proud that Ireland is leading this global learning movement with Khan Academy,” said Kelly Kirkpatrick of the O’Sullivan Foundation.

According to Adam Bargroff from Camara Ireland, “the All-Ireland challenge has gone from strength to strength since its start in Ireland by technology entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan and Khan Academy two years ago. In 2015, over 500 teachers across Ireland participated, helping over 13,000 primary and secondary students complete more than 4 million minutes of learning maths skills. Based on early registrations for 2016, the challenge is poised for significant growth, with student and school signups already vastly exceeding previous years’ participation.”

Over the next 9 weeks students from across the 32 counties will work to represent their school, county, and country for weekly leaderboards and monthly cups, with the aim of earning a place at the All-Ireland in-person celebration events in May.

LearnStorm Ireland is open to all students from 4th class to 5th year in the Republic of Ireland and from Primary 6 to Year 13 in Northern Ireland. Although LearnStorm Ireland officially kicked off on 29th January, registration remains open for schools and students over the 9-week challenge.