School Outreach – Primary and Secondary
Midlands Science collaborates with a wide range of partners and inspirational speakers to deliver interesting talks to Midlands schools throughout the year. This work demonstrates to students of all ages, the vast diversity of science, engineering and technology in a practical and easy to understand manner. It is also part of our mission to constantly seek opportunities where we can play a key role in promoting the importance of science amongst younger children and we do this through providing fun and innovative events for primary level also.
Engineers Week is a national and annual week-long celebration of the world of engineering in Ireland. Midlands Science is delighted to be working with Athlone Institute of Technology and a range of corporate partners in the region, to provide young people with a unique insight into the world of engineering through a series of workshops which explore everything from space flight to polymer engineering. Students also learn about various engineering led careers and about how engineering is really about thinking creatively and solving problems.
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 lots of fun. Midlands Science works with partners to deliver a range of relevant events during this exciting annual week in the academic diary.
Our goal is to be a positive influence for students, to empower and encourage young people through the provision of specific actions and practical procedures, communicating plans and making sure they know what to expect and therefore allowing them to develop strategies and solutions for responsible and sustainable science citizenship. It is important that we engage them in a long-term mentoring and learning relationship as they work collectively toward the resolution of a specific environmental issue and for us to monitor the progress throughout the process.
Midlands Science curates and delivers a series of STEAM activities bringing the arts into STEM. These activities are usually offered during national Heritage Week, Culture Week and at other appropriate points in the year. It is important that we stress and continue to stress the strong links that exist between science and the humanities.
Midlands Science Diaspora
We are developing a database of STEM diaspora for possible FDI opportunities, education links, public engagement and policy development. This is consistent with national policy to persuade the Irish scientific diaspora to support outstanding and innovative research capability on the island of Ireland, through advice, collaborations and partnerships.
SWIM(Science with Inspirational Mentors)
The purpose of the SWIM project is to create more interest in STEM subjects and careers in the Midlands region, with a particular reference to the life sciences sector, which has a strong presence here and potential for growth. The project places a strong emphasis on role models from those in the education and industry sectors and also from other champions for Life Sciences education. This is currently being delivered in partnership with the RCSI and Cpl Resources.
Quiet Science responds to requests received from those in the ASD student community and their advocates to develop and provide ASD appropriate STEM outreach. A suite of appropriate outreach activities will be co-created with students and STEM providers in consultation with appropriate ASD education experts. The project will also produce a manual of best practice which will be circulated following evaluation of the project. Reaching an underserved group such as those in the ASD community is important and using a co-created approach in the project will add to its impact and effectiveness. Two pilot schools in Offaly will assist initially with project development and outputs will be rolled out further across the midlands through appropriate partnerships. Developing this project and a best practice manual which will be shared will add capacity to STEM outreach generally.
Investing In The Future – Science Capital Training
This project will deliver training for youth and development workers in the midlands, facilitated by Midlands Science in association with the Science Capital Research Team of University College London. Midlands Science has adopted a science capital approach in its work, placing a strong focus on developing science capital with a particular focus on under-served groups. The training will be delivered using best practice examples and capacity building with the UCL Science Capital Research Team. This will provide the participants with increased confidence and skills with which to deliver STEM activities in informal settings. A vital part of the project is the delivery of train the trainer for some participants with UCL – this will ensure that the project can be scaled and its impact strengthened through local capacity.