Students, teachers and schools prepare to do battle – launch of MATHletes Challenge 2015

Entrepreneur, inventor and investor Sean O’Sullivan has kick started MATHletes Challenge 2015, an initiative supported by the Department of Education.

Building on the popularity and success of the 2014 pioneering maths tournament, students and schools from all over Ireland now have another opportunity to compete online and face-to-face against their peers for over €20,000 in prizes and the coveted title of MATHletes Challenge All-Ireland Champion 2015. Based on the Khan Academy approach to learning and teaching maths, the challenge is FREE and open to pupils from fourth class in primary school to fifth year in secondary school.

Supported by the Department of Education, the 2014 MATHletes Challenge had more than 270 schools, 330 teachers, and 3,000 students compete and spend nearly a million minutes improving their maths on Khan Academy.

DC 050115 MATHletes 02 captionedModeling a GAA-style tournament playoff, the 4-month Challenge will showcase students on weekly online leaderboards, with top scorers advancing to represent their county colours at the provincial playoffs in April, and on to the All-Ireland MATHletes Championship which will be held on May 2nd, 2015.

Students and schools can sign up for MATHletes Challenge 2015 at

In the last year, the number of Irish students using the Khan Academy has increased from 3,600 to over 26,000, and there was a tenfold increase in the number of teachers in Ireland using the website as part of their class activities. It will also be brought in line with the Irish curriculum in the coming weeks.

Welcoming the launch of MATHletes Challenge 2015, Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. said: “This is a very beneficial and free initiative that aims to help students develop the confidence and competence to excel in mathematics. Many schools and communities around Ireland are celebrating those who excelled in MATHletes 2014. I want to congratulate all of the teachers and students who took part and encourage many more to join the MATHletes programme in 2015.”

Sean O’Sullivan said: “The MATHletes Challenge and Khan Academy are innovative and free tools for students to build the strong foundations and confidence in mathematics that they will need throughout their lives. This initiative challenges schools and communities to demand rigor and award praise to academics the same way we do to athletics. There is no reason that Ireland cannot be number one in the world in maths, and MATHletes and the Khan Academy can help get us there.”

Globally, Khan Academy has more than 10 million users per month with over 4 million practice problems solved each day and high-profile advocates such as Bill Gates and Minister David Cameron.

About the MATHletes Challenge

The MATHletes Challenge is a free online and in-person maths tournament for Irish students. The fun and engaging 4-month Challenge develops students’ confidence and competence in maths by using Khan Academy, the global leader in free online learning. Students and schools from 4th class to 5th year (ROI) & Primary 6 to Year 13 (NI) are eligible to compete. The competition culminates with top scorers advancing to in-person playoffs, where over €20,000 in prizes and the title of MATHletes Challenge All-Ireland Champion on offer. Registration is FREE and is now open. 

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