maths trail

New trail brings maths to life

New trail brings maths to life

Last updated 26 June 2017
Last updated 26 June 2017

The University of Waikato has opened a new maths trail at its Hamilton campus to help people appreciate maths and numbers in their daily lives.

“Maths Eyes is a tangible way for adults to improve their skills, by seeing numbers and maths in the built and natural environment around us,” says our Advisor Literacy and Numeracy David Do.

“Congratulations to the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network  and the TEC-funded National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults for creating the trail. This is one of the ways we can make real priority 4 of the Government’s Tertiary Education Strategy.”

Bi-lingual signs link to activities and a chat bot

The 1.6 km long trail follows existing pathways through the University’s Hamilton campus and is accessible to all. 

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

“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.”

Along the trail are 16 signs in English and Te Reo Māori displaying activities across different levels of ability. The signs 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.


composite image of maths signage and maths traila

Bottom left shows the metal plate with the eyes symbol along the maths trail; centre image is of a maths activity at one of the trail's stations; and image on right shows Damon Whitten, National Centre Manager, explaining how the Maths Eyes trail works at the public launch in May.

More information about Maths Eyes

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

About the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults

The National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults is funded by us to lead a national programme of professional development and educational services to improve the effectiveness of providers and educators.

It also manages the Te Arapiki Ako website. This website has a wealth of resources and information on how to embed literacy and numeracy skills development for learners effectively  

Learn more about how your TEO and tutors can improve their literacy and numeracy capability on the adult literacy and numeracy resources page.

About the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network

The project is an initiative of the Waikato Literacy and Numeracy Network and funded by the Lottery Grants Board. Established in 2014, the Network aims to take a collaborative, community approach to building capability in literacy and numeracy, and supporting learning opportunities and career pathways in the Waikato.

It comprises literacy and numeracy educators, employers, and representatives of iwi, hapū, non-profit organisations, community groups, government and non-government organisations.