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UCC initiative Maths Circles and Junior Maths Enrichment in Rwanda
Following the success of the Boole2School initiative in 2015, UCC continues its tradition of cross-border Mathematical contributions with the implementation of the Maths Circles and Junior Maths Enrichment lesson plans to Uganda, as an outreach activity of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
Designed and tested in UCC and rolled out around Ireland by the IMT with support from Science Foundation Ireland, Maths Circles and Junior Mathematics Enrichment create a nurturing environment where school children can fall in love with mathematics and develop their intuition and problem-solving skills. Jessica Weitbrecht is working at implementing these initiatives in Rwanda. A former member of team Ireland at the International Mathematical Olympiad and the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad, Jessica has attended training camps in UCC during 2012-2013. She now wants to give back to society and help spark an appreciation for Mathematics by working as a volunteer tutor for AIMS Rwanda.
"We ran about 10 three-hour Saturday sessions for local senior cycle students using the junior material from the UCC website, and reached 90 students… We're also running a few sessions for teachers - three so far. They're starting to really enjoy it…There are about 20-25 teachers per session, with high overlap. I'm hoping that some of the teachers will start math clubs and math circles in their schools.
The AIMS master's students help with the training, and they're also learning a lot. Over Christmas I left them to run two sessions by themselves, and they were great. I hope that in the future they'll be able to run similar things themselves, where ever they may end up. "
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a Pan African Network of Centres of Excellence that offers quality postgraduate education, research innovation and public engagement for the advancement of STEM in Africa’s transformation journey. AIMS Rwanda is the 6th Centre of Excellence in Africa. Jessica helps deliver the AIMS Master’s degree in the mathematical sciences, a unique, innovative program providing problem-solving and computational skills as well as exposure to cutting edge fields.