Promoting Safety Online for Science Week with Google and Barnardos

Midlands Science is delighted to team up with Google and its online safety partner, Barnardos, the children’s charity, to deliver online safety workshops for students and a webinar for parents during Science Week 2021. These virtual workshops are based on current research and best practice to promote online safety for children. As young people are living in an increasingly digital world, it is so vital that they know what it safe and what is not. As they rely more and more on their screens for team interaction in school and for homework and connection, they also need to be able to identify misinformation and to know how to make the right decisions when engaging with social media content.

Ryan Meade, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager, Google Ireland said,

“Google is delighted to support the Midlands Science Festival 2021. Barnardos, our Google.org online safety partner, will be delivering online safety workshops to schools during the festival. By supporting the Barnardos Online Safety Programme and creating a free multifaceted programme designed to teach younger children (age 7-11 year olds) about online safety, we want to help make the internet a safer place for young people in Ireland. We will also be hosting an online safety webinar for parents and we believe that open communication between children and adults and regular conversations about a child’s online use are key to helping children stay safe online. The objective of this online webinar is to leave parents feeling empowered with practical tips that will help their family stay safer and be happier on the internet.”

These workshops provide the perfect opportunity to generate the conversations that need to take place to support children in their online lives. Topics covered include: How to talk to your child about online safety, Parental controls, Helpful websites, Cyberbullying and how to help your child, How to encourage digital wellbeing, Sexting and Strategies gaming and screen time.

Jackie Gorman, Midlands Science CEO commented,

“We know that particularly over the course of the last eighteen months that an increasing number of young people are regularly online and it has become a more important part of their life than ever before. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that young people are seeing misleading content every day and many have regular friend requests from people that they don’t know. While the majority of young people understand that they have a responsibility to be mindful of their actions when online and many also know to report potentially harmful or misleading content, we all have a part to play in creating a better online world. Midlands Science is delighted to partner with Google and Barnardos for this year’s Midlands Science Festival to provide these workshops which will be packed full of tips on digital safety, screen time and lots more.”

This event is brought to you by the Barnardos Online Safety Programme as part of the Midlands Science Festival, in conjunction with Google and is part of national Science Week, supported by Science Foundation Ireland. Barnardos Online Safety workshops can be booked by completing the online booking form on their website www.barnardos.ie/osp or by emailing onlinesafety@barnardos.ie.

 

 

Inspiring Midlands students in the power of computing..

We are delighted to be running some Google CS first taster workshops again for this year’s festival and these workshops are based on real world themes aiming to engage students of varying interests – S torytelling, Fashion & Design, Sports, Animation , Art, Music & Sound, Game Design, Friends and Social Media. With the help of their teachers, students can then further avail of the google online CS Education to develop their Computer Science skills. These workshops are now fully booked as they closed and invitation only. A series of students and parent/teacher workshops will take place and we hope that these workshops will encourage the schools in their adoption of coding and computer science skills in school activities.

Claire Conneely of Google’s Computer Science Education team (EMEA) said,

‘Google is pleased to once again collaborate with Midlands Science to provide computer science outreach for young people during Science Week 2019. Cultivating a future workforce that is ready for the fast pace and many changing faces of technology today requires a commitment from businesses in this industry to help prepare the next generation with the right technical skills, to get them excited about Computer Science and encourage more young people to pursue a career in this field. We develop activities that show students what computer science is and inspire them to use the power of computing to solve real world problems. It is important to Google to continue to play a key role in outreach and education across Ireland and we are looking forward to delivering a range of digital skills and coding workshops to more than 600 students and 200 teachers, parents and youth workers during the Midlands Science Festival this November.’

 

 

 

At Google we are passionate about STEM

The Midlands Science Festival is proud to name Google as a new supporting partner for 2017. We had a chat with Google’s Claire Conneely, Computer Science Education Outreach team (EMEA) to hear a little about the company’s STEM outreach and why its so important for them to support events like Science Week and the Midlands Science Festival.

Claire, we are delighted that you will be supporting this year’s Midlands Science Festival and are proud to name Google as a partner. Can you tell us a bit about the type of STEM outreach that Google does in Ireland?
At Google we are passionate about STEM, in particular Computer Science (CS). I am part of the CS Education team at Google – we are a global team who help millions of students and educators across the world develop technical skills for the future. More than 65% of students will work in jobs that don’t even exist today (http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016).

At Google, want to help prepare them for that future by getting them excited about where CS can take them. Coding allows students to learn with​ technology (not from​ it, as is all- too-often the case) and to be active creators of their own content, not passive consumers. Many transferrable skills can be learned through studying CS, such as Computational Thinking, logic, problem solving – skills that we use at Google every day!

Do you have a science or technology background yourself?
Not exactly… music was my first passion! I originally studied to become a secondary school music teacher, which I did for a number of years and absolutely loved. In those early years of teaching, I
became fascinated by technology and its role in helping students learn, so I decided to return to college to do a Masters in Technology and Learning. From there, I got the opportunity to join a small team in Trinity College Dublin to co-found and develop a new STEM outreach programme, which eventually became Bridge21. I’m very proud that today it’s one of the university’s flagship outreach programmes. Three years ago I had the chance to apply for this job at Google and I’ve been here ever since!

Recent data shows that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sec tor. Why is it important for companies like Google to support events like the Midlands Science Festival and what do you think we can do to keep dispelling the myth that science is difficult?
We are delighted to be able to sponsor important events like the Midlands Science festival. The best way to dispel the myths about STEM is to expose students from an early age. It is also about lighting a spark and then keeping that spark alive throughout primary and second-level schooling, for those who have
the interest and aptitude. Some 98% of our engineers at Google had some level of exposure to CS before college. I am thrilled to see the introduction of Computational Thinking to the Primary School Maths curriculum, and the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject. Great opportunities lie ahead for our young people in years to come!

Are there are any specific challenges in attracting women in to science and technology related fields and do you have any suggestions on how this could be addressed?

So many girls start out with a love of science and technology, but lose it somewhere along the way. Google believes that a diverse workforce leads to better products for diverse users and we are especially committed to reversing the negative trends around women in technology-related fields, in particular CS.

To guide our outreach and investments in this space, we conducted a study in 2014 to identify and understand the factors that influence young women’s decisions to pursue degrees in CS. It identified encouragement and exposure as the leading factors influencing this critical choice and learned that anyone can help increase female participation in CS, regardless of their technical abilities or background. The most encouraging outcome of the study was that these factors have practical solutions, that anyone can undertake, requiring little more than time and interest. There’s enormous potential for positive change in this space!

What is your favourite science fact?
Your heartbeat mimics the beat of the music you’re listening to.