The Community of Clara Maths Eyes Photography Competition

Have you got ‘MATHS EYES’?

A Mathematical Photography Competition
for the ENTIRE Clara Community

Organised by: Clara Local Committee

Traditional methods used in teaching and learning maths have resulted in a maturing population who do not appreciate the maths they use in their everyday lives. Maths Eyes is an initiative that was spear headed by Dr Terry Maguire in Tallaght in 2011 and this initiative has since achieved national and international prominence as a means of bringing mathematics to life and building confidence in an individual’s everyday use of mathematics. It encourages members of the general public, teenagers and younger children to engage with their surroundings, to discover the everyday mathematics around them and to change their perception of mathematics. The competition ‘Have you got Maths Eyes?’ was rolled out across schools in Ireland during Maths Week 2012.


Clara Local Committee’s own mathematical photography competition was formally launched by Aoife Smith, Teaching Coordinator at the Centre of Excellence in Maths and Science at the University of Limerick on Friday 28th March in Clara Library. Other speakers at the launch were Niall Kinnarney, Chairperson of Clara Local Committee and Mary Stewart, County Librarian. Representatives from many sectors of the local community were in attendance.

The theme of the competition is ‘Maths in your Surroundings’ and is open to the entire community. There are six categories in the competition: 7-10 Years, 11-14 Years, 15-17 Years, Adult (18+), Family, and Community Groups. A Family entry involves collaboration between members of a family and a Community Group entry involves collaboration between members of a community group. There are great prizes to be won. Winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd) in each category will receive a One4all Voucher and will also be presented with a certificate. Once a photograph is taken the entrant should decide on a title, caption or question to accompany the photograph. Winners will be presented with One4all vouchers ranging in value from €15 to €100.

There are three steps involved in entering the competition. Firstly, the participant can use either a phone or digital camera etc to take a photograph of maths in the surroundings. Participants should be aware that maths may appear in many forms, not just numbers. They are encouraged to look around in their surroundings either indoor or outdoor for examples of shapes, angles, patterns, symmetries, reflections, lines, fractions, or measure – the possibilities are endless…. The photograph must be printed in size 5”x7” and can be either colour or black & white and may be landscape or portrait. Secondly, the participant should come up with a title, a caption or a question to help those looking at the photograph to develop their maths eyes. Thirdly, a Competition Entry Card (Rules of Entry are on reverse) should be completed. The Competition Entry Cards will be available from launch date, Friday 28th March at four locations in Clara: Library, Family Resource Centre, Pettit’s Pharmacy and Kennys Newsagent. The closing date for receipt of entries is 5pm Friday 9th May 2014 and entries cannot be accepted after this date. All entries should be returned to Clara Library.
An exhibition of all photographs will take place in Clara Library from Tuesday 20th – Thursday 22nd May. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the exhibition centre over the course of the three days. The winners will be announced at a prize giving ceremony on Thursday 22nd May.
The competition is sponsored by Offaly Local Development Company, St. Vincent de Paul, St Brigid’s Credit Union and Offaly County Childcare Committee.

The Clara Local Committee Maths Eyes Facebook page is now up and running (claralocalcommittee/mathseyes). The Maths Eyes website is a useful tool and was developed as a resource for anyone who would like to develop their maths eyes.

The competition has been well advertised locally. Information can be obtained by visiting the websites of the three local schools. There are numerous posters on display in local businesses. The three local newspapers: Tullamore Tribune, Offaly Topic and Offaly Independent have featured the competition in weekly publications. The competition has also featured in two editions of the Clara Tubber Newsletter and in the local Mass Bulletin. Transition Year students designed and painted the two ‘Maths Eyes’ advertisement boards located on the Tullamore and Moate Roads. The next step is to advertise the competition on Midlands 103, the local radio station.

Why not open your MATHS EYES?
YOU could be a Winner!