We were delighted to hear some good news from our friends in Scoil Mhuire Fatima, Timahoe, Laois recently. Scoil Mhuire Fatima has an ASD preschool at which opened in 2014 and it caters for children who have a diagnosis of Autism.
This school has an excellent track record also have in delivering science education, having been awarded the Excellence in Maths and Science Award for the last 8 years, 8 years of BT Young Scientist Participation, 7 years of Intel Mini Scientist participation (including 4 All Ireland Awards and a private audience with President Michael D Higgins!) and almost a decade of National Science Week and Engineers’ Week celebrations. Midlands Science has been delighted to work with the school on many occasions to provide a number of science activities from the Reptile Zoos to stargazing and from physics to coding workshops
One of the Midlands Science funded workshops has directly led to the creation of a device to lessen the negative impact of sound sensitivity for children with Autism! (LULLS headphones, www.lulls.ie)
Deputy Principal, Martina Mulhall said,
‘The children from the ASD preschool were taking part in a fun physics workshop in our GP room. and loving it. But one little boy who loved and still loves, science, got very distressed, crying and covering his ears etc. A 14 year old past pupil of ours, Alice Carew, was helping out and she brought the little boy out of the hall. So the very thing he loved the most, he was not able to access. That evening Alice carried out some research to try to figure out the cause of his distress. She then created a prototype, trialled it with the parents of our preschool, used feedback to redesign, had it manufactured, trade-marked, and has sold over 300 pieces to schools, libraries, leisure centres and individual parents. She went on to win Scifest and Student Enterprise awards with the product. She and her friend also carried out pioneering nationwide research into the prevalence of sound sensitivity in children with autism.’
Midlands science was delighted to hear this success story of how our engagement with schools has really helped in a very different way this time and we look forward to continuing to work with the many schools and other organisations throughout the region who are striving to introduce and encourage a love of STEM to all students from as early as age as possible.
Tech Week is Ireland’s nationwide festival of technology aimed at students, parents and the public. Tech Week is made up of a range of classroom and community activities taking place across Ireland – in libraries, schools, community centres, and many other locations. These activities give students a chance to develop their interest in technology subjects, examine potential career prospects, learn new skills, be creative and, most importantly, have a lot of fun.
As part of the Midlands Tech Week celebrations, Midlands Science organised a school career presentation for the students of Gallen Community School in Ferbane, Co. Offaly. We were very fortunate to have Engineering lecturer and key speaker, Dr.Enda Fallon from AIT present to talk to students about technology fields and course.
Jackie, Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,
‘We were really pleased to collaborate once again with AIT during Tech Week to deliver some very interesting talks about the world of technology to Offaly student. It is very important to demonstrate to students the vast diversity of science, engineering and technology in a practical and easy to understand manner so it was beneficial to not only have an academic representative from AIT but also to include the more fun and interactive side of science and we did this through some engaging science workshops with Declan Holmes from Science Ireland. We will actively continue to encourage students to consider the whole field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and showing them how it impacts our lives on an everyday basis during Tech Week is an ideal way to do this.’
We were delighted to welcome Mairead Cantwell, a clinical exercise physiologist to Mean Scoil Mhuire in Longford recently where she delivered an insightful and informative presentation to students as part of our STEM career talks in association with AIT.
Mairead works as as an assistant lecturer in sport and exercise science at AIT. Clinical exercise physiology focuses on the promotion and prescription of physical activity to individuals living with different chronic conditions (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer).
Her presentation focused on the benefits of physical activity for health throughout the life, and in the context of clinical conditions. She also discussed potential routes into careers in clinical exercise physiology.
Caroline Brazil (originally from the Midlands and a Senior Manager with Accenture) and Déaglán Campbell, Design Lecturer in Dept. of Mechanical, Polymer & Design, at Athlone Institute of Technology focused their talks on Innovation and feedback from teachers and students was extremely positive. We look forward to many more talks in schools across the region before the end of this school year.
Midlands Science was delighted to deliver a number of STEM career talks to school in the Midlands as part of the national Engineers Week celebrations. One talk which took place for a large number of students in Offaly was at Killina Secondary School in Rahan.
Dr Enda Fallon of Athlone Institite of Technology (AIT) spoke to students about Engineering courses and careers and Gerry Buckley of local network and infrastructure and support firm, NIS also presented on the day so that the young people could see it from both the corporate and academic side.
Guidance Counsellor at Killina Secondary School, Breda Mann said,
‘The staff at Killina Secondary School were pleased to work with Midlands Science during ‘Engineers Week’ to deliver some very interesting talks about the world of engineering to students in Co. Offaly. We believe that it is very important to demonstrate to students the vast diversity of both science and engineering in a practical and easy to understand manner and both speakers provided this opportunity for us on the day. We had Dr Enda Fallon from Athlone Institute of Technology and Gerry Buckley from local IT company, NIS. We will actively continue to encourage our students to consider the whole field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and showing them how it impacts our lives on an everyday basis is a great way to do this.’
Sunday Times best-selling author Dr Steve Brusatte came to Tullamore during the Midlands Science festival to talk to locals about his life in dinosaur discoveries. He is one of the world’s leading scientists of a new generation of dinosaur hunters armed with cutting edge technology and he is piecing together the complete story of how the dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years.Steve’s amazing work and discoveries have featured on BBC, CNN and National Geographic and he is the author of the Sunday Times Best Seller “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.”
Dale Treadwell of Naturally Wild is well known for his RTEjr Television slots with Albie the Why Guy and Dustin the Turkey featuring wildlife to be found in Irish back gardens. Dinos Down under takes us back to Dale’s childhood back garden of Australia but with a twist, it is from 100 million years ago !! Dale was joined by some realistic Cretaceous Creatures on this interactive show.
International Terrorism expert, Prof Andrew Silke and Brian Gibson of Forensic Science Ireland, Jackie Gorman and Pauline Nally of Midlands Science and Craig Slattery, UCD and Midlands Science at the Science Week event, which explored forensic science, poisoning by spies and the psychology of terrorism. The event took place in Athlone Little Theatre and featured a crime scene with clues for audience members to use to solve the crime.
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