The Curriculum Development Unit (CDU) in Mary Immaculate College (MIC) launched its latest publication MIghTY Maths: Mathematical Investigations for Transition Year last week to coincide with Maths Week Ireland.
Written by Dr Ronan Flatley, Lecturer in Mathematics at MIC, this book offers Transition Year students and their teachers a collection of mini-projects and challenges in mathematics which are designed to stimulate the curiosity of TY students. Grounded in the historical origins of many mathematical concepts, this book provides opportunities for students to explore many challenging concepts in an enticing and enlightening way. Students can investigate codes and ciphers, engage in exotic base jumping and even construct number tricks to test on their friends.
Speaking at the launch, Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC, welcomed the publication of MIghTY Maths, highlighting its relevance to the Government’s STEM Education Policy Statement and Implementation Plan 2017-2026. A challenge which has been highlighted in the STEM Education Policy Statement is the need to increase the number of students choosing STEM subjects at post-primary level. The STEM Implementation Plan 2026 articulates a vision for STEM Education that will provide learners with experiences which cultivate their curiosity, tenacity, problem-solving and sense of inquiry. MIghTY Maths has the potential to contribute to this vision, by fuelling the mathematical imagination of TY students and their teachers in post-primary schools.
TY students who have used MIghTY Maths have said:
“How the Greeks managed to measure the circumference of the Earth was really interesting. I really enjoyed learning about the geometry they used for this.” (TY student at St. Andrew’s College, Booterstown)
“I had fun doing the questions, especially the ones on number bases. I found them challenging and interesting and every time I got a question right I felt proud and happy.” (TY student at Oatlands College, Stillorgan).
Prof. Emer Ring, Dean of Education at MIC, highlighted Mary Immaculate College’s long history of commitment to mathematics education and STEM across the continuum of lifelong learning. Acknowledging that research and scholarship in the College can be the catalyst for projects and publications within the CDU, Prof. Ring congratulated the author, Dr Flatley, for his vision and hard work in bringing MighTY Maths to fruition. She highlighted the well-established role of the CDU as a seed-bed of innovation, which is underpinned by a strong evidence-base of research and which has provided a platform for many projects which have expanded to national level and beyond.
In his introduction to the book, Dr Ronan Flatley has said that he believes “that mathematics can be enjoyed by us all and that the challenge is often finding the trigger to awaken our natural curiosity”.
Prof. Merrilyn Goos, Professor of Education, at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Brisbane Australia, who launched MIghTY Maths, spoke eloquently of the importance of mathematics to so many aspects of our daily lives from managing our home lives, to leisure activities, to finances, to making informed decisions about data which is being shared in the media. She drew upon the work of the world-renowned mathematician, Ian Stewart, who referred to the equation “maths equals school” and that often people don’t see the applicability of mathematics beyond the classroom.
Prof. Goos described how MIghTY Maths brings mathematics to life and provides a treasure chest of activities that are “delightful [and] that I think students and teachers will enjoy very much. It deserves to be a bestseller”.
MIghTY Maths can be ordered through the Curriculum Development Unit on CDU@mic.ul.ie or by phone on +353 61 204355.