Mullingar Students Explore Science at the Royal College of Surgeons

As part of the ongoing work of local development company, Midlands Science, to promote science education in the Midlands, a group of transition year students from Loreto College, Mullingar recently visited The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the Centre for Systems Medicine (CSM) Research Laboratory. This event was co-ordinated by Dr Helena Bonner Scientific Liaison Officer CSM, RCSI and Ms Pauline Nally of Midlands Science.

Students were welcomed by Head Porter, Mr Frank Donegan who gave them a historical tour of RCSI.
Other highlights from the day included students observing brain cancer cells under the microscope and learning about different forms of cancer. They also heard from our researchers about their projects including epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Students also received a lecture on how research has changed in recent years with a special focus on communication and collaborative skills, being an important aspect of the job.

Professor Jochen Prehn, Professor of Physiology and Medical Physics & Director for the Centre for Systems Medicine, RCSI said, “I am delighted to welcome the students to RCSI and the CSM laboratories. Hopefully they got a real experience for what life is like for scientific researchers and perhaps it will lead to them considering a career in scientific research”.

Special thanks to the following researchers for volunteering to take part in this event: Dr Beatrice D’Orsi, Dr Catriona Dowling, Dr Teresa Moloney, Dr Isabela Aparicio and head porter Mr. Frank Donegan.

RCSI is ranked 46th in the world for ‘International Outlook’ and #251 – 300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2015-2016). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said, “We feel that a true understanding of science involves whole-life learning beyond the confines of any classroom. It is so important that when learning science it includes innovation, up to date resources, engagement and partnerships which enable the students to connect learning to actual real-world situations. With this in mind we place a strong emphasis on mentoring from role models and champions in order to encourage and nurture curiosity about science and a visit like this is an ideal way to achieve this.”

Successful Science Show Learning for Mountrath School

Local development company Midlands Science recently collaborated with the Community Foundation of Ireland to provide an assortment of engaging and interactive workshops for the pupils of Scoil Bhride in Mountrath. The National Reptile Zoo visited the school in June and the girls and boys had the opportunity to get up close and personal with some scaly creatures such as a snake, turtle and lizard. They also enjoyed energy and electricity workshops with ‘Anyone for Science’ and the ‘Rediscovery Centre’ and they also had a lot of fun with the teams from ‘Junior Einsteins Science Club’ and ‘Go Fly Your Kite.

Jackie Harrison, Head of Development for the Community Foundation said,

‘The Community Foundation was delighted to partner with Midlands Science in order to deliver a variety of science shows to Scoil Bhride in Mountrath over the past six months. From the Reptile Zoo Village to investigations in static electricity using a range of materials, we hope that pupils got to experience first-hand the fun and scope of science learning. The Community Foundation for Ireland works with donors to optimise their philanthropic giving and in 2016, there were over 70 donor advised funds at the Foundation which enabled us to work with over 4,000 community and voluntary organisations to create social impact in Ireland. It was wonderful to be able to provide this funding in the Co. Laois and hopefully it will inspire more young people from across the Midlands to consider science when choosing future subjects and career options.’

Mary Keegan principal at Scoil Bhride in Mountrath said,

‘We were delighted to welcome a number of wide ranging science performers to our school over the past year with thanks to Midlands Science and the generosity of a private donor who provided funds for these events through the Community Foundation.

We are very grateful to all parties who enabled this to happen as we believe that by creating a more fun and innovative approach to learning science, pupils will have a much better appreciation for how diverse, exciting and far-reaching science actually is. We look forward to more future science shows here in Mountrath and in continuing to spread the message that science is so important for the future and is all around us in so many aspects of life.’