Sherwood Park, AB. — Students throughout Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) are calculating the square root of real-world world math applications during EIPS’ annual Week of Inspirational Math. From March 13-17, schools across the Division are hosting daily math activities, games and hands-on learning exercises to help promote an understanding and appreciation of math among students. The style of activities will vary among different grade levels—all promoting the idea becoming successful in math class is fun, engaging and achievable for everyone.

Again this year, local community members have been invited to talk to students about the everyday application of math in their world of work. Presenters represent the fields of medicine, engineering, farming, restaurant management, science, architecture, skilled labour and many others.

“This Week of Inspirational Math will be one to remember,” says Barb Percy, a numeracy consultant at EIPS. “Our presentation lineup includes a firefighter and an actor, an x-ray technician and a SWAT officer—just to name a few. Students meet a wide range of members from the community to see the incredible value math has in education and life beyond school. They learn that every career has math within it, from complex formulas to the allocation of time during the days of the week.”

The Week of Inspirational Math is an annual event inspired by the work of Jo Boaler, a Stanford University professor and expert in math education. Boaler is a champion of the growth-mindset, an integral part of the Week of Inspirational Math. Rather than focusing on whether the answer is right or wrong, the growth-mindset promotes the idea the most important part of numeracy acquisition is the ability to learn from your mistakes, push forward and challenge yourself to reach greater heights as a learner.

“We use math every day on our farm to make important management decisions for our birds,” says Ashley Rietveld, a chicken farmer at Rietveld Poultry Farm. “This helps support and maintain an excellent quality of life for them. I enjoy taking part in the Week of Inspirational Math because it’s a great opportunity to engage directly with students and teach them the context behind real-world math applications used in my job!”

The generous assistance of large corporations, local organizations and entrepreneurs throughout the Division will help students make important connections between what they’re studying and the impact it will have on their lives going forward.


Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,460 students in 43 schools. We are proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties, and the western portion of the County of Minburn.



For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902