Pupils learn to think outside box through maths initiative

by Mark O'Brien

Pupils of St Francis Xavier National School (SFXNS) ended the year in style when they graduated from the Irish STEAM initiative Maths in a Box.
The initiative is aimed at providing a stimulus to primary school pupils to actively engage with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) subjects outside of their curriculum.
STEAM Education operates with the interests of young minds at heart.
It aims to provide a stimulus to 5th and 6th class primary school pupils.
The programme involves representatives of local businesses who volunteer their time to act as a mentor alongside teachers in national schools and visit the classroom once a week.
The volunteers are provided with lesson plans and a training seminar based on these plans in advance.

Lucy Shakanungu (12) speaks at her grauation ceremony from Maths in a Box STEAM initative at st Xaviers national school, Dublin 15

Eight local staff members from Alexion Pharmaceutical’s College Park facility volunteered their time to teach classes and assist the SFXNS children in visualising similar careers and having confidence in their capacity to reach them.
The volunteers gave lessons once a week, over six weeks, and demonstrated a hands-on activity based lesson.
Through the Maths in a Box programme, the volunteers were given an opportunity to give back to society, while gaining creditable experience in education and interaction with children.
Pupils from both 5th and 6th class celebrated the completion of a six week programme on Friday (June 30).
The pupils were engaged in creative, analytical and lateral thinking skills to bring maths to life in a fun format.
The pupils were delighted with the experience, with some of them saying that it had enhanced their love of learning.
STEAM are based in Cork and currently operate in schools in Cork, Dublin, Louth and Meath with plans to expand across the rest of the country in the near future.
For more information, visit www.steam-ed.ie

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