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Summerhill student is top Connaught entrant in Maths challenge

Friday, 21st February, 2014 1:36pm

Summerhill student is top Connaught entrant in Maths challenge

A third year student from St Joseph's College in Summerhill, Athlone, is currently leading the way among the Connaught entrants in an All Ireland Maths competition.

Summerhill student Lisa Dolan is Connaught’s best placed student in the MATHletes Challenge leaderboard and is in fourth place in the overall national leaderboard.

The initiative is a new, nationwide maths competition. Lisa's achievement is down to her having earned one of the highest scores for total skills mastered using Khan Academy.

The overall MATHletes Challenge Champion 2014, will earn pride (and prizes) for their school and their county.

Registration opened on February 1, and the first 10 days saw over 800 students, from 150 schools covering 24 counties, sign up for MATHletes Challenge 2014. The number of entrants continues to grow each day.

Spread by social media and word of mouth, these figures reflect the enthusiasm among Irish students and teachers to bring fun, competition and good old county rivalry to the world of maths learning.

The competition is the brainchild of entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan and is supported by the Department of Education and Skills and National Education Centres across Ireland.

Mr O’Sullivan said, “just two weeks into the Challenge, it is becoming clear that we can use Khan Academy as an effective tool and motivator to transform how their students learn maths. Most importantly, we see kids getting hooked on the MATHletes Challenge, and having fun. There is a real sense of momentum behind the competition, with thousands more students expected to sign up over the coming weeks.”

With over 10 million users per month and 4 million practice problems solved each day, Khan Academy had been wildly successful in accomplishing its stated mission to provide “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere”.

Founded in 2006 by the American educator Salman Khan, Khan Academy is the world leader in free online maths education.

Students and teachers are reminded to signup now and start competing: the earlier a student signs up, the more time they have to gain points in the competition. There is still plenty of time to top the leaderboards at

With over €20,000 in prizes and the title of MATHletes Challenge Champion 2014 on offer, MATHletes sees students in each county competing online and face to face in county and provincial finals, with top scorers advancing to the national finals, scheduled to take place in early May.

Check the website for leaderboards, new weekly challenge problems, and tips for teachers to give MATHletes a more focused training experience. Students can register at or find out more about MATHletes on Twitter @MATHletes_ie or go to the MATHletes Challenge Facebook page

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