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New trail brings maths to life

16 May 2017

New trail brings maths to life

Caption: A new maths trail on the University of Waikato Hamilton campus aims to bring maths into our everyday lives

A new trail designed to help people appreciate maths in their daily lives will be launched on the University of Waikato’s Hamilton campus on 26 May.

The launch celebrates New Zealand's first Maths Eyes trail, which is an initiative of the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network, funded by the Lottery Grants Board and supported by the Faculty of Education’s National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults. The trail is 1.6km long, free to use, follows existing pathways on the campus and is accessible to all.

Centre Director Professor Diana Coben says the trail will serve as a platform for adults and children, teachers and students, and community groups on which to share their maths eyes.

“It will enable them to recognise and be intrigued by the mathematics all around them. Opening your maths eyes promotes the usefulness and beauty of mathematics. Everyone has maths eyes - they just need to be opened.”

The trail will provide opportunities for linking education (at early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and adult level) and community. Along the trail, 16 signs in English and Te Reo Māori will display activities across different levels of ability and will point out features in the landscape and encourage trail walkers to notice and think about the mathematics in their environment and work out real-life maths problems.

The trail experience will be enhanced by connecting to the Maths Eyes Chat Bot, through the Facebook Messenger app. The interactive Bot acts as a buddy along the trail, answering questions and providing hints.

The project is an initiative of the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network, which was established by the National Centre in 2014 to take a collaborative, community approach to building capability in literacy and numeracy, supporting learning opportunities and career pathways in the Waikato.

The Network is made up of literacy and numeracy educators, employers, and representatives of iwi, hapū, non-profit organisations, community groups, government and non-government organisations. The Network has an online community to provide a forum for members to share ideas, questions, discussion and resources.

The Maths Eyes concept was developed by Dr Terry Maguire and launched in Dublin in 2011 to raise awareness of maths in day-to-day life. It aims to empower people and build confidence in their own maths knowledge and skills, help parents better support their children’s learning and build a positive image of maths. For more information on the Maths Eyes concept, visit

The trail starts at the University of Waikato car park 2B, off Knighton Road, and the opening ceremony, to be held at the trail start, is at 11am on Friday 26 May. All are welcome.


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