Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons MLA and local Maths Week ambassador Siofra Frost help launch Maths Week which this year takes place from 16th to 24th October.
Siofra Frost, from Lurgan, is one of six Maths Week ambassadors featuring in a specially created poster for secondary schools, as part of this year’s Maths Week Ireland festival in October.
Currently fulfilling a role as a programme co-ordinator for Catalyst, Siofra has used maths throughout her studies and career to assist her getting to the position she is in today.
Siofra studied maths at GCSE and A-Level at Lurgan College before attending Ulster University to attain a bachelor’s in law. Following her undergraduate degree, Siofra then went on to complete a master’s degree in human rights law and a master’s in philosophy, both at Queens University Belfast. After successfully completing her masters’, she became a Doctor of Philosophy.
Studyseed CIC, a social enterprise providing educational support services to children, young people, schools and the community was founded in 2013 by Siofra alongside Jayne Hamilton, also from Lurgan. Studyseed CIC has been nominated for education social enterprise of the year as part of the 2021 Social Enterprise Northern Ireland awards.
Studyseed CIC support and enable children and young people through all stages of their education, from key stage 1 through to A-level offering services such as after school classes and online and home tutoring. Having grown to a team with 24 tutors, Studyseed CIC are able to provide free educational support to even more children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In April of this year, Siofra joined Catalyst as a Generation Innovation Project Coordinator before moving to her current role as Co-Founders Programme Coordinator in July.
Discussing how important and useful maths is to her Siofra said: “Maths has been a key driver in getting me to where I am today. Throughout my studies I used maths to understand data and make interpretations and recommendations as part of my dissertations and when studying for my doctorate. It is something I am really passionate about, which is why Studyseed CIC is so important to me as I can provide children and young people with extra support to achieve their maths qualifications.”
She added: “Maths is a subject that I use daily, whether it be when I’m shopping to calculate discounts or budgeting or when I am looking at business accounts, it is a really important part of day to day life. My favourite thing about maths is that it is so logistical and if you get the answer wrong, you’re always able to go back and identify the problem. I’m always learning more with maths and I would encourage everyone to keep studying maths.”
Eoin Gill, co-founder of Maths Week Ireland said, “It’s essential, particularly in this current post pandemic era that we invest in maths skills and encourage and inspire our young people in schools to enjoy maths and see how it can impact on and benefit job opportunities and careers. Our six ambassadors are drawn from a wide spectrum of companies and organisations but each uses maths in their everyday work lives.
Running from 16th -24th October and supported by the Department for the Economy, Maths Week Ireland is one of the world’s largest maths festivals in the world and showcases the importance of maths in school, work and everyday life. Similar to the format of 2020, the island wide festival will be hosted largely online featuring a range of events and activities such as workshops, quizzes and ‘MathsWeekTV’ for both primary and secondary school students.
For more information on events and resources visit https://www.mathsweek.ie/2021/