About Us

Midlands Science is a not for profit company which works to create greater interest in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths] education and skills among students, teachers and members of the public in the Midlands [Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath]. This is a key issue for the region’s development. We reach over 16,000 people directly per annum and our work has been independently and positively evaluated and found to be impactful, creative and innovative. We make a particular effort in all projects to engage with those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, as they are the least likely to engage with STEM outreach.

We have free STEM resources available to schools and the general public, check out our Science at Home series, Science Communities series or our Wonders of the Body series.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to develop programmes and events for people of all ages to explore and engage with science in the midlands counties of Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath, to encourage young people to consider a career in STEM, and to raise awareness of the value of STEM in our society and economy. As an organisation our ambition is to become the leading model of inclusive, impactful and innovative STEM outreach in Ireland and an example of best practice within the international community.

We believe that the societal value created by engaging as many people as possible from all age groups and social classes in STEM outreach can make a unique and transformative contribution, benefiting all in our community. Through active engagement with STEM outreach people can make more informed choices about education, careers and everyday decisions as consumers and citizens.

Our vision is to increase scientific literacy amongst the general population through creating positive attitudes and awareness of the essential role that science has in our lives across all demographics in the Midlands region.

Key Objectives

  • Develop and implement programmes and awareness-raising initiatives designed to increase science capital in the region.
  • Develop new programmes targeted at sectors of the market yet to access STEM outreach in a way that is appropriate to their needs.
  • Training of stakeholders in a science capital approach.
  • Develop a knowledge hub for research and best practice relating to STEM outreach

How The Work of Midland Science Contributes To The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. The SDGs were set up in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by 2030.

The work of Midlands Science is linked SDG 4 ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning and opportunities. Specially within this SDG 4.4, 4.5 and 4.7. This means focusing on increasing the number of people with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. This is particularly important in the midlands region as the region is currently undergoing huge socio-economic changes driven by necessary decarbonisation measures.

This work also means eliminating  discrimination in education by ensuring equal access to the opportunities we provide and this includes people with disabilities, people of different ethnic backgrounds and those in vulnerable situations. It also means linking the outreach work we do with engaged citizenship as STEM outreach isn’t just about education and skills but about building the capacity of all people to engage with the decisions we take throughout life, which demand a certain level of scientific literacy and ability to discern evidence. This is necessary as we all now make decisions as citizens, consumers etc which are vital in our world – climate change, vaccines and biodiversity for example.

All of the work of Midlands Science is focussed on bringing STEM into everyday life and situations and its commitment to sharing how SDG’s are linked to its work shares the same focus. Midlands Science is keen to demonstrate that everyone in society, individuals and groups, large and small can make a contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to showcase how STEM skills and education can make a strong contribution the SDG’s.

Meet The Midlands Science Team

Midlands Science provides opportunities for people of all ages to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and encourages young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Throughout the year, we deliver programmes for primary and secondary schools in the region and raise awareness of the value of STEM to our society and economy. This work is delivered by our team: Jackie Gorman, Pauline Nally and Criodán Ó Murchú.

Jackie Gorman

Midlands Science CEO

Jackie is CEO of Midlands Science. She has 30 years of experience working in local development including working in education programmes with the long-term unemployed, rural enterprise and community development. She spent 3 years working as a Technical Assistant with the Government of the Gambia as part of the Ireland Aid Programme, working with communities living in and near National Parks.

She is a graduate of TUS, DCU and NUIG in Business, Literature and Community Development. She is passionate about how engagement with science can transform communities and create economic growth for everyone. She received the Science Foundation Ireland Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication Award in 2022. When not doing this work, she loves to travel, speak Irish, write poetry and swim. Her favourite science fact is that Octopuses have three hearts, nine brains, and blue blood!!

Pauline Nally

Fundraising and Partnerships

Pauline Nally joined the Midlands Science team as Business Development Executive focusing on fundraising, partnership development and strategic grant initiatives in 2016. A previous Senior Executive in the Financial Services Industry,  Pauline has led on Strategy, Planning and Implementation  for a number of companies both in the National and International arena.

In Pauline’s Corporate Career  she held Senior Management roles with some of Ireland’s leading National and International Banks, before setting up her own company in 2012 focussing on Sales Management Training for medium to large companies. Pauline is trained in all areas of Management and is an I.M.I. Graduate and N.L.P. Graduate. Her favourite science fact is that crows recognise and remember human faces and can differentiate between those who have been kind to them and those that have caused them stress. Crows can pass this information to other generations.

Criodán Ó Murchú

Science Outreach Executive

Criodán is the Science Outreach Executive of Midlands Science. Originally from Mullingar, he has settled in the West of Ireland. A graduate of University of Galway, he is passionate about science, science communication, climate justice, and the rights of young people. A former Board Member of SpunOut.ie and Text50808, he has expertise in both developing content for young people across Ireland and ensuring the good governance of these NGOs.

When not working, he plays drums, reads mostly non-fiction, and spends time in nature. His favourite science fact is there are (roughly) the same number of atoms in every human body added together as there are atoms on the surface of the earth.

Did you know, William Edward Wilson

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