Midlands Science Deliver Training for Best Practice in Science Outreach

Local development company Midlands Science has been continuing to provide science education outreach work over the past year in spite of the very challenging situation the world now finds itself in. In addition to virtually delivering plenty of science workshops and interactive events since March 2020, Midlands Science has also recently commenced a new project online around building Science Capital in the Midlands with participation from twelve organisations, providing vital capacity building in best practice in science outreach. This initiative is funded by Science Foundation Ireland through the Discover Award programme and training for the participants is currently underway with University College London and the Science Museum Academy.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland said:

“Science Foundation Ireland is pleased to support this Science Capital project, which will contribute towards the development of our nation’s scientific curiosity and literacy. By offering tools and training to understand what influences our engagement with science, we can facilitate more inclusive and diverse conversations, provide equal access to careers in science and encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to find personal meaning and connection with STEM.”

CEO of Midlands Science Jackie Gorman commented,

‘Science capital can help us to understand why people from all backgrounds participate in and engage with science and how their engagement can vary through a range of science-related experiences. It also sheds light on why particular social groups remain underrepresented and why many young people do not see science careers as being suitable for them.  We have a diverse group of people on board for this training from fields of local development, youth work and heritage, all of whom interact with a wide range of people in their work. Each participant was were selected in 2020 to take part in this Science Capital training through Midlands Science with University College London and the Science Museum London as part of a Science Foundation Discover Award received by Midlands Science.’

The aim is that this Science Capital training will provide research not only around participation in science but will also focus on the many other important factors that come into play, including gender, teaching, education and culture. This training will be a valuable addition to Midlands Science’ own resources and will hopefully help us to continue to encourage more future generations to choose science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Miriam Harte from Camara who is participating in the training commented,

‘My experience of the Science Capital Training Programme has been incredibly positive. I’ve learned a huge amount of new information about communicating science, especially with harder-to-reach audiences. The standard of speakers and facilitators has been excellent, each sharing a unique and interesting way of approaching new science capital concepts. This training has definitely changed the way I look at my work and how I communicate with my target audience. I’m really looking forward to finding more ways to integrate my learnings within my own work and to sharing this with my colleagues. I very much felt that, during a time of great adjustment and stress in 2020, it has been reassuring to have this consistent group of peers to brainstorm the educational challenges which we’ve faced and the ways in which we can overcome these challenges with a bit of self-reflection and creativity.’

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘As Covid19 hit a number of our annual programmes, it also impacted the execution of this training. We had to pivot delivery online and as part of additional supports, we then provided science communications training with Dr Niamh Shaw and online engagement best practice with Maebh Coleman of Technological University Dublin. The group also commenced training online with University College London and the Science Museum London and this will run into 2021. A number of participants will also undertake additional portfolio work which will allow them to become science capital trainers and spread their learning further in their networks and communities. The provision of this training is a vital part of Midlands Science work to develop capacity with partners and to provide access to international best practice in science outreach.’

 

 

 

 

Integra LifeSciences partner with Midlands Science for STEPS Engineers Week 2021

Barry W. Fitzgerald, BW Science, author of Secret Science of Santa Claus & Secrets of Superhero Science.
photo: Bart van Overbeeke

Midlands Science is delighted to once again have support from Tullamore based medical technology company, Integra LifeSciences in the local, virtual roll out of events for this year’s STEPS Engineers Week. This annual, national event promotes engineering and the importance of the profession to children in Ireland. Last year marked the largest ever celebration of engineering in the community with over 92,000 participants taking part in 980 activities nationwide. The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students in the Republic of Ireland through a portfolio of projects.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

“For this year’s STEPS Engineer’s Week, Midlands Science will come together on a digital platform along with a host of sponsors and presenters to present a range of interactive online activities. Our overall aim is to inspire young people of all ages to think about the vibrancy of engineering as a career and to demonstrate what an important role it plays in so many aspects of everyday life. It’s important to provide thought-provoking activities for children and their parents about engineering and technology, despite not being able to physically attend events or give students a behind-the-scenes taste of engineering as we would have done in previous years.’  

 Here in the Midlands, Engineer’s Week usually offers young people and teachers to engage directly with a variety of inclusive and diverse engineering experiences, so that they can make that important connection between school learning and real careers. In past years, Integra Life Sciences has addressed students in person in schools in the Offaly area to demonstrate the breadth of creative and innovative careers on offer and even though we are not in a position to do that this year due to the pandemic, we feel it is vital to continue to engage with the future generation in a fun and meaningful way that explores engineering in its many forms. The digital events being run by Midlands Science with support from Integra LifeSciences for Engineer’s Week is a really effective way to do this.

John O’Donovan, Plant Manager, Integra LifeSciences Tullamore commented,

“Integra LifeSciences is delighted to continue to support Midlands Science. We look forward to supporting the celebration of all things Engineering in the 2021 STEPS Engineers Week. It is going to be a fun filled event that will develop further awareness of the impact of Engineering on all of our lives and hopefully inspire the next generation to see the potential of a career in an Engineering field.”

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘We firmly believe that now more than ever, we need to continue to encourage young people from all backgrounds to consider a career in engineering and to provide them with the knowledge they need to learn about and to progress into the sector. We are delighted to once again celebrate STEPS Engineer’s Week which shines a light on the profession and helps students to make informed decisions about their education and careers.’

For more information on STEPS Engineers Week and to access free resources and activities, visit: https://www.engineersireland.ie/schools/engineers-week

 

About STEPS

The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach scheme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students through a portfolio of projects. STEPS is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and has four industry sponsors including ARUP, ESB, Intel and TII.

 

 

 

 Virtual Events to Inspire Future Engineers

Get Ready for STEPS Engineers Week 2021 in the Midlands

Local development company, Midlands Science has unveiled details of a range of activities which will take place online to celebrate national STEPS Engineers Week 2021, which runs from February 27th – Friday March 5th. The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to students through a portfolio of projects. STEPS Engineers Week is Ireland’s largest celebration of engineering in the community with participants taking part in activities nationwide. This year, it will be a virtual event for the first time ever as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but there will still be plenty of inspiring online engineering workshops on offer in the Midlands.

The programme includes a family event exploring space exploration and engineering with Ireland’s best known science communicator Dr Niamh Shaw who even brough a Stargazer Lottie doll with her during her time at DRMARS, a simulated Mars facility! The week also includes workshops building Marble Runs with Christine Campbell from Anyone 4 Science. Marble Runs are a great way to explore engineering and children have lots of run learning that by making your track just steep enough to overcome friction, you can keep your marble rolling for a long time ! The ever-popular Dr Barry Fitzgerald of Superhero Science will be running workshops on how to build an Ironman suit and how to become an engineer. A special episode of the Midlands Science series Science at Home will explore engineering with Dr Dan Nickstrom. Also, workshops with sensors for air quality, temperature and humidity will be taking place in Abbeyleix as part of a Climate Action project that Midlands Science is involved with, supported by Creative Laois as part of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017-2022) in partnership with Laois County Council and Abbeyleix Tidy Towns.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

“STEPS Engineers Week is a very important week in our calendar every year and one which usually involves teaming up with a number of local and national partners to host career workshops, hands on project work and inspirational talks. It is usually a packed programme of events in schools and other local venues to celebrate engineering as a profession and to demonstrate to students of all ages just how much engineering is all around us in everyday life. We are looking forward to interactive, virtual engineering workshops . This year will no doubt be different, but we have plenty of activities planned for people to access online and we hope that the move to a virtual platform might actually create greater opportunities for participation than ever before.’

Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland commented,

“By engaging in the wide variety of engaging events and activities developed by Midlands Science for STEPS Engineers Week 2021, the fascinating world of engineering will be brought to life in homes across Ireland and will provide students with the opportunity to explore the limitless opportunities a career in the engineering sector can offer. I would encourage families and teachers to sign up for Midlands Science activities and take the opportunity to dream, invent and create like professional engineers.”

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘Midlands Science is passionate about encouraging students to make that important connection between what they learn in class and real-world science and engineering roles. We may not be able to take students behind the scenes of some most successful companies this year to see a real-world glimpse of engineering in practise but we will still continue to continue to build awareness of this diverse and exciting industry and show everyone what a rewarding and creative career choice it can be.’

For more information on STEPS Engineers Week and to access free resources and activities, visit: https://www.engineersireland.ie/schools/engineers-week

Ends

About STEPS

The Engineers Ireland STEPS Programme is a non-profit outreach scheme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students through a portfolio of projects. STEPS is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Education and Skills and has four industry sponsors including ARUP, ESB, Intel and TII.

 

 

 

Virtual Science Week events in Westmeath with National Museum of Ireland

[6:16] The Ballinderry Sword, Ballinderry, Co. Westmeath.
Ninth century ad.
The sword was the principal weapon used by the Vikings, most of the iron blades with their often carborised steel edges probably being imported to Scandinavia where the hilt ornament was generally added. This iron sword from County Westmeath with its silver mounted handle is the finest surviving specimen of a Viking sword from Ireland and one of the most impressive anywhere. It has an elaborate, pattern-welded blade inlaid with the name of the sword-maker VLFBEHRT. Blades inlaid with the name of Ulfbehrt were exported from the Rhineland and have been found as far east as Russia. Most swords found in Ireland from this era probably originated in Norway and have been found in graves in the Dublin area (at Islandbridge, College Green, Bride Street and Dollymount) where they appear mainly to have been interred with the extended burials of warriors, although some of the ritually bent examples may have accompanied cremations as they did in Scandinavia. The present specimen is from a crannóg excavated by the Harvard Archaeological Mission to Ireland in 1932, a site interpreted as the homestead of a farmer or local king. SA 1928:382. L. 92.5 cm.
Mahr 1928, 204–52; Walsh 1998.

Midlands Science is pleased to announce details of two unique, digital activities in Westmeath which are part of a collaboration with the National Museum of Ireland for Science Week 2020.  This year’s events are also presented in partnership with the Heritage Office of Westmeath County Council.

Siobhan Pierce, Education and Outreach Officer, Archaeology & Natural History at National Museum of Ireland commented,

‘We are delighted to be bringing a special, online virtual event to a school in the Midlands for Science Week and we are also looking forward to delivering a family workshop to wider communities in Westmeath, which will explore our rich Viking heritage.  We will host this event live from the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin where we will interact with Athlone primary school pupils so that they can learn about what archaeology can tell us about the arrival of the Vikings to Ireland and their impact on Westmeath. It is wonderful to have a strong partnership with Midlands Science and the County Heritage Officers of the Midlands counties so that we can continue to make these events happen during Science Week even if this year, they cannot be delivered in person. Our family workshop will be hosted live from the Museum with National Museum of Ireland educator Trisha Ryan and will show Viking material found in Dublin and Viking finds from Ballinderry Crannog, Co. Westmeath, including a sword and gaming board. This event was specially created for children 7-12 years old and we are looking forward to interacting with as many people as possible on the day.’

Melanie McQuade, Heritage Officer of Westmeath County Council said,

‘We were really excited to be partnering with the annual Midlands Science Festival and the National Museum of Ireland for these events which takes place as part of national Science Week. They are a fantastic opportunity to promote science education to Westmeath pupils and families as we examine the archaeological evidence for the arrival to the Viking activity in Ireland and in particular Westmeath. Most Viking finds from Ballinderry and other rural sites reflect everyday activities and include tools used in spinning, weaving and sewing and tools and utensils of wood, iron and bronze. Ballinderry, however, also produced a number of exceptional finds, which we will learn about on the day of the workshop.’

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘Midlands Science is focused on not only providing science and technology activities during Science Week but it is also really important that we explore the link between science and the arts, heritage and culture. Our partnership with the National Museum of Ireland and the Heritage Office of Westmeath County Council allows us to reach a whole other audience, helping us to promote science in a unique way which also helps us to understand and explore our past. Our school event will take place on November 10th during the annual Midlands Science Festival and our family event, Virtual Vikings, will take place on the same date at 3:30pm. Booking is available for this online on www.midlandsscience.ie so join us as we celebrate science and heritage in the Midlands for  Science Week 2020.’

 

 

  Midlands Science Announce Virtual Discovery Day for Science Week  

The Midlands Science Festival  takes place from November 7th to 15th as a week-long, immersive digital event as part of national Science Week and as part of the celebrations, Midlands Science will be offering an interactive, online community event to people of all ages. This event will take place on November 7th and will feature a wide range of interactive workshops, science fun, creative experiments and more. In a time of uncertainty, the Midlands Science  team is conscious that it is more important than ever to provide activities for our audiences to ensure that they keep learning about science in an accessible way.

CEO of Midlands Science, Jackie Gorman said,

“ Excitement is building for our upcoming family Discovery Day which would usually take place in a large venue but it will be different this year with all activities being experienced online. We are confident that this fun and informative event will not only inspire and encourage young minds to think about the many aspects of real-world science in new and different ways but we also hope that it will be a real treat for the whole family. Dale Treadwell’s Dinosaur Show, Anyone4Science, the Exploration Dome, The Reptile Zoo and Dr Mindflip’s Ultimate Learning Experience are just some of the wonderful activities that we have lined up for the day. More information including the full schedule and how to register will be announced in the coming days. This is a date in the diary which we look forward to every year. It is always so amazing to see the wonder in young faces and to watch as they realise that science is not just about wearing a lab coat but it can be seen in so many facets of our daily lives.”

Jessica Curtis, Senior Fund Manager, Rethink Ireland said,

“The theme of this years’ Science Week is ‘choose your future’ which is apt because when we chose to support Midlands Science we saw an exciting but fairly predictable future. Little did we know that we would have to learn so much about science with the onset of COVID 19 or that Midlands Science would have to create entire festivals and programmes online instead of in person! We are very proud to support these great innovators who have successfully pivoted their work and made science even more accessible and intriguing for their thousands of participants online.”

Jackie Gorman continued,

“This event is free so please do join us in celebrating the many wonders of science this November and keep an eye on www.midlandsscience.ie for more details and for information about our many other events for Science Week 2020.”

 

Midlands Science Festival Goes Virtual

For the first time in its eight-year history, the Midlands Science Festival will be accessible from November 8th – 15th as a week-long, immersive digital event as part of national Science Week. The core theme for Science Week 2020  which is now in its 25th year is ‘Science Week – Choosing our Future’ focusing on how science can improve our lives in the future and in the present. This year’s festival offering will enable schools, teachers, parents and people of all ages to get involved virtually and it will deliver engaging talks, interactive workshops and presentations in a whole new and innovative format. In a time of increasing unease, the Midlands Science Festival team is conscious that it is more important than ever to continue to provide activities to continue to engage our young people, build optimism and help them to explore science and how it relates to everything in our day to day lives.

CEO of Midlands Science, Jackie Gorman said,

“ The theme this year will explore how science can help us to make positive choices that will impact the environment, our health, and our quality of life. We took the time to evaluate the situation as an organisation before deciding that a virtual festival really was the best way forward for Science Week 2020. It allows us to provide most of the events that we had already planned for our audiences, in a safe and secure manner.  This year we are inviting people to step inside a free, virtual science sphere to join top science communicators, workshop presenters, industry experts, science ambassadors and more! This pandemic has really brought an awareness to the way in which we all work, learn and consume information. We have been working diligently over the past seven months to adapt to an online model to continue to raise awareness of science and we would like to thank all of our wonderful partners and sponsors who have supported and encouraged us to do this during such a challenging time. Throughout Science Week there will be a variety of ways for you to get involved through events, social media and much more. You can also use and follow #BelieveInScience online.”

The Midlands Science Festival will this year celebrate science in the Midlands in a number of different ways. Some of the key highlights will include an inspiring journey into Space with Dr. Niamh Shaw, informative public talks on the ‘Science of Resilience’ and the ‘Science of Skin’ which will be available online and we are also really looking forward to delving into the exciting world of Star Wars with Jon Chase. We are also delighted to be providing a range of high-level, virtual career talks for secondary schools with some of our industry and academic partners, which we hope will encourage more and more students to consider science as a future course and career option.

Dr. Craig Slattery, Midland Science Chairperson, commented,

“Sadly, we have seen highly influential public figures around the world openly attempt to undermine or discredit valid scientific information to service their own agendas.  Now, more so than ever, delivering authentic, exciting and informative public science events to the people of the Midlands, young and old, is of the utmost importance.  Under normal circumstances, Midlands Science would organise over 100 face-to-face events during the Midlands Science Festival with a combined audience of over 10,000 people each year. Naturally this year is going to be very different but we are confident that the enjoyment and inspiration on offer will not be!”

This year also includes an exploration into Viking Heritage with the National Museum of Ireland and a family Discovery Day, which will see the return of some of much-loved activities such Dale Treadwell’s Dinosaur Show, Anyone 4 Science, the Exploration Dome, The Reptile Zoo, Ironman Engineering and Dr Mindflip’s Ultimate Learning Experience.

More information including the full schedule of events, speaker line-ups, and how to register will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

 

 

Celebrate Mathamatical Moments with Midlands Science

The Countdown to Virtual Maths Week 2020 is on!

 Maths Week has been taking place in Ireland every year since 2006 and has grown to attract participation from as many as 300,000 people annually across Ireland. We often don’t realise that maths is part of all facets of everyday life. Maths Week 2020 promises to be quite different due to the fact that large scale public events will now not be possible but Midlands Science is delighted to this year team up with Dublin City University lecturer in Mathematics Education, Dr. Aisling Twohill, to deliver our Maths Week activities in a new and virtual format so that we can stay safe while exploring the fun aspects of maths and all that it has to offer.

Aisling Twohill, Midlands Science Board member and lecturer in Mathematics Education, in the School of STEM Education, Innovation and Global Studies at DCU said,

‘I am delighted to collaborate with Midlands Science for Maths Week 2020. We will be utilising stories to make maths more accessible and more enjoyable through a series of videos which will be available on Midlands Science social media platforms throughout Maths Week. Picture-books are a great way to introduce maths concepts in a child-centred way, and two of the videos will develop children’s ideas around spatial relations and fractions through the stories of ‘Winnie the Witch’ and ‘Mama Panya’s Pancakes’. We hope that encountering maths in such attractive, and accessible contexts will develop younger children’s appreciation for maths and encourage them to see maths as part of their everyday lives. For older children and adults, we will focus two videos on the stories of the History of Number and Fibonacci and with these, we will explore concepts such as sequences, place value and the historical connections of  mathematics. Sometimes, the way maths is taught can feel quite repetitive, so we are also taking this opportunity to encourage everybody to have fun with maths through puzzles and games. We are even providing a few suggestions to get you started. Playing the games we’re suggesting will give you a chance to experience maths in a more dynamic and relevant way than you might have experienced through school textbooks!’

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘Maths is a key driver of innovation and growth and it impacts every aspect of life. Maths Week is a co-operative movement with local partners all over Ireland together with schools and teachers changing attitudes towards maths. It is coordinated by Calmast at Waterford IT and is an ideal opportunity for people of all ages to increase their appreciation and understanding of mathematics and it is part of our overall aim to try to make it more accessible to everyone. We are delighted to be working with Dr. Aisling Twohill who has made an enormous contribution to our work in promoting science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) over the past year. We look forward to publicly sharing a number of innovative maths videos which Aisling has recently produced, to help us raise awareness of maths and to demonstrate how wide and varied maths can be as a possible career path.’

Maths Puzzles:

 

These puzzles are all available as apps or to play through a web browser.

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘Maths Week, which takes place from the 10th to 18th October, may not be the same this year due to unavoidable circumstances and our original plans for this year’s celebrations have obviously been somewhat impacted, but don’t forget to tune into our brand new maths videos which we really hope will spark an interest in maths and also please check out www.mathsweek.ie/2020 where you will find plenty of engaging maths activities to help improve attitudes towards maths as a subject, build confidence and demonstrate to children the value of maths as a lifelong skill that is linked so many aspects of the wider world around us.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midlands Science Announce New Partnership with LIFT

Building Leadership Skills in the Community

Midlands Science, was delighted to recently announce details of a new collaboration with LIFT (Leading Ireland’s Future Together) which was established to build each one of us into a better leader. Each partner makes a commitment to LIFT, to participate in the learning process and to facilitate further discussion within their organisation on the value of positive leadership.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented,

‘Each of us is a potential leader and this leadership can take place within both our own personal and familial or indeed our professional working roles and when we partake in any corporate or community-based team. We are delighted to announce that we will be teaming up with LIFT. We are really looking forward to developing our personal leadership qualities and abilities and to utilising all of the valuable skills that we have learned thus far in our own work, with groups of people we will be engaging in the year ahead.’

LIFT teaches and enables people to make better decisions, to ask better questions and to influence each other positively.  The leadership values used by LIFT in its training programmes are Listening, Positive Attitude, Respect, Competence, Determination, Empathy, Accountability, Honesty.

LIFT Co-founder, Joanne Hession said,

“LIFT is delighted to partner with Midlands Science. We greatly admire the mission of Midlands Science and we are so excited to build leadership muscle with their team who will have such an influence around Ireland. The LIFT team is completely behind them as we work towards a better Ireland and brighter future. We can’t wait to train team members as certified LIFT Facilitators.”

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘By taking the decision to become a LIFT Ireland partner, Midlands Science is committed to both strengthening our own leadership muscle and raising the level of leadership in the organisation itself and also sharing the impact of this learning with the increasing number of corporate and academic stakeholders that we are fortunate enough to work with. We are also pleased and privileged to be joining a network of organisations and individuals whose mission it is to collectively drive positive leadership change in Ireland and the hope is that we, as LIFT facilitators will now have the tools to bring this to people in our communities who need it.’

#LIFTIreland

 Note: ‘Everyone is welcome to join a free online LIFT leadership session. Book here: https://liftireland.ie/online-leadership-sessions/ to experience LIFT for yourself.”

 

 

 

 

Share your first Science adventures for National Heritage Week!

To mark National Heritage Week 2020 in the Midlands region, Midlands Science is calling on primary school pupils to go on a journey of discovery and exploration, help us to celebrate the past and look to the future. The national theme this year for Heritage Week which will be taking place from 15-23rd August is ‘Heritage and Education: Learning from our Heritage’.

Midlands Science invites primary school pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th class to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health that interests them and submit a 150-word explanation that will engage and enlighten readers.

Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said,

‘We want you to dive deep into your memories and tell us about your first science adventures! We would love to hear about the first science related topic you remember learning in science or your favourite thing you learned in science. National Heritage Week celebrates all things heritage related. It brings together communities and cultural institutions, academics and young people to build awareness about the value of heritage and support its conservation. Through this competition we want to demonstrate the important link between science and heritage and to show that what you learn and discover in science today will be part of your personal future heritage and we hope it will lead to a lifetime of curiosity about the world around you.’

Applicants can submit artwork, photographs or stories to illustrate the most memorable science event or lesson of your past. It could be a favourite science fact or explaining an experiment you’ve tried in school or at home and entries should be no more than 150 words. The most important thing is to choose something you are really interested in and something you enjoyed and will always remember.

Melanie McQuade, Heritage Officer for Westmeath County Council commented.

‘We are delighted to be working with Midlands Science again this year during National Heritage Week which helps to build awareness about the value of heritage and to support its conservation. In the midst of a global pandemic it can feel as though everything is on hold when really, we are living in a time that is now solidly a clear part of our future history. We hope that this year, during Heritage Week we can encourage a greater sense of awareness and appreciation of our heritage and shared culture and we invite as many young people as possible to partake in this competition which will hopefully serve as a reminder of all of the wonderful science related history that surrounds us in the Midlands and beyond.’

Need some inspiration?

How does gravity work?

What do magnets do?

What is the longest snake in the world?

What did Marie Curie discover?

 

Tell us all about it and get an adult to take a photo of your entry and drawings if you do include some and email to Gillian:  gmaunsell@midlandsscience.ie

Jackie Gorman continued,

‘We want to feature the inspirational voices of the next generation so all entries will be included on our site, celebrating science and its connection to heritage to show how important early experiences of science really are. We will have a number of book tokens for the some of the best entries from each class group.

Please include your name, email contact details and the class you are in. We wish all pupils the best of luck and all entries must be received by August 1st 2020.’

 

Midlands Science brings Science Home with Gas Networks Ireland

The not for profit organisation, Midlands Science, is delighted to now be in a position to continue to offer a range of remote, fun science workshops via their social media channels with thanks to the support and sponsorship of partner, Gas Networks Ireland. The team at Midlands Science has been working with science communication experts to create new science shows and other online learning resources and running them online over the past few weeks to help ensure that young people can continue to sustain their engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) from their own home during these very different times.

‘Science at Home’ is an entertaining show that explores the science of everyday things at home. The show will be broadcast online on the Midlands Science Facebook page every Tuesday at 12:00 pm and has been running since March 17th following the school closures. The shows will hopefully continue until June of this year and will be run with support from Gas Networks Ireland for the next two weeks. These two episodes will focus on the primary school science topics of living things and biodiversity. All episodes are available on the Youtube channel of Midlands Science and will be available there as full archive.

This is one of a number of impactful initiatives across Ireland promoting science, technology, engineering, maths, literacy, employability and the development of life skills that Gas Networks Ireland supports. Gas Networks Ireland’s sustainability strategy has three pillars of sustainability – environmental impact, social impact and economic impact. As part of its social impact programme, in 2018,Gas Networks Ireland launched the STEM education programme, Energize, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) in primary schools across the country. The programme is available to 5,000 sixth class students nationwide, with the objective to foster students’ interest in STEM subjects.

Christina van der Kamp, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Gas Networks Ireland, said,

‘Covid-19 is affecting every part of our lives at the moment. We are  getting used to a new way of living so that we can all play our part to stop the spread of the virus.

‘Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to be partnering with Midlands Science to deliver a range of online ‘science at home’ activities. We believe it is particularly important to keep in mind the effect this crisis may be having on young people  who are unable to attend school and see their peers. Providing these children with some engaging online activities is a proactive and useful way to nurture a positive attitude to science while staying at home.

‘We are passionate about introducing young people to the exciting world of science and engineering from an early age, and actively encourage young people to really think about the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and how it impacts our lives on an everyday basis.’

Science at Home presenter, Dr. Dan Nickstrom of Maynooth University said,

‘I’m having a lot of fun trying to communicate science in this way. It’s new and challenging territory for me but I’m enjoying the opportunity and am delighted it’s getting such a good reception among people in the Midlands, young and old especially those trying to keep up with school work.’

Midlands Science CEO, Jackie Gorman said,

‘We know that many parents are now dealing with the dual challenges of working from home while also keeping children safe and hopefully continuing to learn in some way. We are most grateful to Gas Networks Ireland for their support and commitment to helping students during these unsettling days of social distancing and quarantine.

‘Trying to navigate all of this is testing for everyone and we wanted to help in some small way by creating our own virtual science classroom. We hope these science learning workshops will benefit people in the coming weeks and we have had plenty of engagement and positive feedback so far.’

ENDS

Midlands Science

Midlands Science is a not for profit company which promotes STEM education [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] in the midlands of Ireland. It is funded by a mixture of public and private funding and it has a voluntary board of directors. We deliver STEM outreach projects on time, on budget and with significant impact in terms of target audience engagement, media engagement and long-term development outcomes. ‘Science at Home’ is an entertaining show that explores the science of everyday things at home. The show will be broadcast online on the Midlands Science Facebook page every Tuesday at 12:00 pm.

About Gas Networks Ireland

Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world and ensures that over 700,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.

Gas Networks Ireland published its first sustainability report last year. “Sustainability in Action” highlights Gas Networks Ireland’s progress in implementing the principles of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals across the business.

 

The full report, “Sustainability in Action”, can be found at:

https://www.gasnetworks.ie/corporate/company/our-commitment/sustainability-report/

 

 

Dr. Dan Nickstrom of Maynooth University