Dublin and NYC students use The Portal to make maths magic across the Atlantic

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Primary school students in Dublin and New York met through the Manhattan to Dublin Portal to work on their maths skills together.

It was an exciting time for pupils from Scoil Chaoimhín, Marlborough Street, and children from New York who had the opportunity to meet and practice their maths. The link-up was arranged by Maths Week Ireland, the all-island STEM promotion initiative and the National Musuem of Mathematics in New York.

Pupils from Scoil Chaoimhín, Marlborough Street met with children from New York through the Dublin to Manhattan Portal to share Maths across the Atlantic and interact with new friends. Photo: Mark Stedman

Meeting through the portal at 1 pm local time in Dublin and 8 am in New York, the students  on both sides of the Atlantic each had a set of ‘Izak9 Cubes’, the invention of Franz Schlindwein from Derry, with 27 cubes dispatched from Ireland to New York ahead of the online get-together. The cubes have numbers and symbols on their sides, providing a physical hands-on and team based approach to problem solving. 

The Dublin group first posed a number of challenges to the group in New York who worked together to find a solution.

Pupils from Scoil Chaoimhín, Marlborough Street met with children from New York through the Dublin to Manhattan Portal to share Maths across the Atlantic and interact with new friends.
Photo: Mark Stedman

Once the New Yorkers completed their maths puzzles, it was their turn to challenge the Dubliners in equal measure. Both sides did so well in helping their friends across the Atlantic with their Maths.

The event was organised by Maths Week Ireland in conjunction with the National Musuem of Mathematics in New York and was supported by Dublin City Council. It gave students the opportunity to practice their maths while interacting with their new friends in Manhattan.

Pupils from Scoil Chaoimhín, Marlborough Street met with children from New York through the Dublin to Manhattan Portal to share Maths across the Atlantic and interact with new friends. Photo: Mark Stedman

 

Cindy Lawrence, Executive Director and CEO of the National Musuem of Mathematics in New York said, “This was an incredible morning for us in New York. We got to meet new friends from Dublin and at the same time enhance the power of math for everyone involved. The portal has created a lot of curiosity and curiosity is at the centre of maths. We are grateful to Maths Week Ireland for making this happen and look forward to continuing our collaboration in making math fun and exciting for all involved”.

Eoin Gill, Co-ordinator of Maths Week Ireland based in South-East Technological University (SETU) said, “We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to make maths fun and accesible. When the portal first appeared in Dublin and New York, we saw this as a collaborative opportunity to promote the fun of maths on a international level. The event couldn’t have been successful without our colleagues from the National Musuem of Mathematics in New York, Dublin City Council and of course the students from the local school here in Scoil Chaoimhín.”

The portal has brought a great sense of excitement to both cities and the event was another example of this.

The portal was conceived by Benediktas Gylys, a Lithuanian artist and entrepreneur. It gives passers by an invitiation to meet people in a way that transcends borders and differences to experience the world as it really is – united and one. Friends, families and strangers have met one another from different sides of the globe.

Photos Mark Stedman Photography

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