No Pens Day (November-2013)

We had our first "No Pens Day" in St. Mary's last week.

No Pens Day Wednesday, is an initiative of The Communications Trust. It is a national speaking and listening event now in its third year. It started as a flagship event of the Hello Campaign in the National Year of Communication.

We had activities in Maths, Science, Home Economics, English and Drama. Amanda Coogan, a Performance Artist did some dramatic interpretations with us, including Bohemian Rhapsody.

Irish Times journalist Roisin Ingle came to see the many activities in the school, and she wrote an article about it, which you can read HERE.

The girls' thoughts on "The Locker Problem"

When I figured out the locker problem, I was delighted because I was able to understand the concept of the locker problem. I discovered something else - I discovered that in between the square numbers 1,4,9,16...... there was an 'even' amount of numbers that went up in twos. For example in between 1 and 4 there are two numbers, in between 4 and 9 there are four numbers and in between 9 and 16 there are six numbers. Ms.Owens, my classmates and I tested this theory with the rest of the square numbers and we found that indeed this theory worked. Ms.Owens was amazed!

Leah (5a)

I found a pattern in the locker problem. I found that if I add an odd number to the first locker which is opened, I would get a square number. For example:

0+ 1 = 1

1+ 3 = 4

4+5 = 9

9 + 7 = 16

16 + 9 = 25

25 + 11 = 36

36 + 13 = 49

49 + 15 = 64

64 + 17 = 81

81 + 19 =100

Sophie (5a)

The locker problem is based on a real life situation. I found it very effective to learn square numbers and factorising. I noticed that if I multiply each number by itself the answers are the same as the doors that are open. This is a good problem to learn as there are so many different ways to solve it.

Fiona (5a)

I learned that prime numbers are closed because they do not have more than two factors.

I liked this [locker] problem because it is challenging. It made me think a lot and how maths can be worked in many different ways and how it can be solved.

Annalise (5a)

We have solved the lockers problem. We found that the doors that were left open are 1,4,9,16,25,36,49,64,81,100. We learnt that these numbers are perfect squares that that they have an odd number of factors [which is why they are open].

Personally, this 'locker problem' had my head fried!! But it encouraged us to use our heads and 'maths knowledge' to solve a problem.

Laura (5a)