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.
JUMP Math (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies), is a Canadian organization and a registered charity which champions innovative methods to stimulate enthusiasm and improve educational attainment in Mathematics. The Maths philosophy is founded on a belief that all children have the capability to perform well in Maths and its methods aim to remove common myths and psychological barriers to effective learning in this essential subject. The delivery of the programme to the Midlands is a collaborative initiative between Midlands Science and Ericsson, who have worked jointly with the founder, John Mighton, to promote this fresh approach and the results are already encouraging. This programme is currently being evaluated and we will use the results of this evaluation to advocate for impactful maths education.
Another of our highly important STEM initiatives is the Atlantic Conference, which has been running since 2008 in the Midlands. Keynote addresses have been delivered by Carol Lynne Parente, Lord Robert Winston, Executive Producer of Sesame Street and Dr Ben Goldacre, author of the Guardian newspaper’s weekly column called Bad Science. This event gives industry professionals such as teachers, lecturers and anyone connected to the education sector the opportunity to examine the quality in the way in which certain subjects are taught. The conference also runs a student workshop in parallel with its main sessions and these workshops have focused on the views of students on education and have included students working on their education views with Ericsson, Facebook and the Science Gallery.