Belfast Telegraph

Qubizm is top of class in building new skills for maths

By Clare Weir

A Londonderry company is aiming for success in Europe with a colourful product to help young children build mathematical skills.

Qubizm, a specialist education company, launched the product, Izak9b, at the recent BETT learning technology exhibition in London.

The product consists of 27 coloured cubes that display different combinations of colour, number and shape to make arithmetic and algebraic tasks fun, friendly and three-dimensional and encourage teamwork, debate and adaptability.

The product was developed with research and development assistance from Invest Northern Ireland, enabling the company to work with the University of Ulster and a group of local companies to create and test a fully working classroom prototype.

Qubizm has also benefited from an Invest NI Innovation Voucher, its Propel Programme and also technical support and marketing assistance to develop Izak9.

Franz Schlindwein, Qubizm managing director and founder, said that the best way to encourage uptake in the vital science, technology, engineering and maths based subjects is to empower children with confidence and build their skills in mathematics when they are young.

"This is not only a challenge here, but across Europe and the US and so offers us significant export opportunities," he said.

"When children reach the middle years of primary school, they no longer learn through play. The curriculum becomes more structured and the learning more solitary, especially as children move closer to the transfer process in year seven.

"In year eight, pupils have been separated from their established peer group and are faced with many new challenges which regularly result in a drop in performance.

"Children are particularly vulnerable at these times, often losing their appetite for learning. If we want them to have a passion and enthusiasm for mathematics, making it a subject of choice and not a curricular imposition, then we need to engage children by using resources that are stimulating, rewarding and fun."

Des Gartland, Invest Northern Ireland's north west regional office manager, said Izak9 will help young people develop the essential maths and science skills that so many employers are seeking.

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