17 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Students spanning Primary (5th and 6th class) and Secondary (up to Junior Cert) schools are invited to enter the inaugural, national An Post Brain Busters programme announced by Dr Niamh Shaw, award-winning communicator, writer and explorer of space activities. Students must successfully complete a series of numeracy and literacy challenges to secure the opportunity to represent their school at the An Post Brain Busters National Final in April 2022.
For more than 30 years, An Post has pioneered some of the most popular and practical education programmes for schools. An Post Brain Busters takes a new, ‘gamification’ approach to literacy and numeracy, inspired by the format and excitement of ‘Escape Room’ challenges. The concept, tasks and materials have been developed by teachers in collaboration with mathematician Dr Finn MacLeod, scientist Niamh Shaw and author Oisín McGann.
Speaking about the programme Niamh Shaw said, “An Post Brain Busters is designed to encourage curiosity and gives school goers the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills to the test. As children return to the classroom after so much disruption, collaborative, enjoyable activities which develop interest and instil pride in numeracy and literacy are key to the development of their academic interests and of Ireland’s impressive STEAM talent pipeline.”
Managing Director of An Post Retail, Debbie Byrne, said, “We’ve worked closely with teachers to develop our new An Post Brain Busters challenge, continuing our strong tradition of supporting the curriculum in an entertaining and fun way. By making numeracy and literacy part of the ‘Everyday’ experience, we are also demonstrating the purpose of An Post – To act for the common good, improving the quality of life now and for generations to come.
“An Post’s Green Light strategy challenges all parts of our business to take bigger, braver steps in pursuit of our Sustainability goals, most particularly Climate Action, Decent Work and Sustainable Cities & Communities. And in turn we are challenging future generations to embrace Literacy and Numeracy in a practical way that will help them to support and enhance their communities and the wider world”, she concluded.
Along with An Post Brain Busters, An Post has also celebrated the recent launch of Money Mate, the new kids current account and debit card which comes with a mobile app. Money Mate offers an opportunity to extend the learning outside the classroom, teaching kids money management skills while allowing parents to stay in control too. It is another commitment from An Post to teach kids healthy spending habits and financial literacy skills.
The An Post Brain Busters national final will see 20 teams of three students compete for the title of Primary and Post-Primary champions. The event will immerse students in an intriguing, unfolding, interactive story in which they participate as key characters testing their literacy and numeracy skills against the clock. Being crowned the An Post Brain Busters champions means winning a prize of €1000 for your school along with a weekend break for the teacher of the top team! Full details of the An Post Brain Busters Challenge will reach schools over the coming week and are also available at anpost.com/Brain-busters