Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin talks science education (video)

6 Feb 2012

Science teacher, former Rose of Tralee and current PhD student Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin pictured with students Jillian Murphy (left) St Andrews College, Booterstown, Co Dublin; and Juanita O'Kane from Belfast Royal Academy,Co Antrim

Today TV personality and science teacher Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin awarded post-primary school students for winning the all-island story writing competition, Tell The Future, part of the pan-European environmental initiative ‘Future of Rural Energy in Europe’. Shúilleabháin is also an ambassador to Dublin City of Science 2012 and has given us a video interview about how students can get involved in Ireland’s celebration of science this year.

But, before we introduce the video, Ni Shúilleabháin was in Dublin City’s St Stephen’s Green this morning to award post-primary school students Juanita O’Kane from Belfast Royal Academy in Co Antrim and Jillian Murphy from St Andrews College, Booterstown in Co Dublin with prizes for winning the junior and secondary categories of the all-island story writing competition, Tell The Future.

The competition itself was part of a pan-European environmental initiative ‘Future of Rural Energy in Europe’ that was supported in Ireland by Calor Gas. On the island of Ireland the competition received over 1,000 post-primary entries. Students were encouraged to outline their vision of how to power Ireland’s homes, hospitals, factories and schools into the future in a sustainable way. The Tell The Future judging panel comprised Science Foundation Ireland, Foróige and the Northern Ireland-based Rural Development Council.

Juanita O’Kane’s entry, which won in the junior category, put forward ideas including the introduction of biomass energy, harnessing power from the sea, and developing new technology in sewage systems.

Jillian Murphy’s entry, which won the senior category, focused on a world where resources were completely depleted and existing items could only be repaired. In order to generate electricity, new ‘trampoline energy creators’ were developed whereby people needed to jump up and down for 20 minutes to generate two hours of electricity. Looking at the positive side to the energy crisis, Jillian also highlighted how obesity was virtually non-existent.

Other Junior Category winners

  • Second Place: Rachel O’Grady, Manor House School, Dublin
  • Third Place: Callum McQuoid, Ulidia Integrated College, Antrim

Other Senior Category winners

  • Second Place – Áine Donnelly, St Catherine’s College, Armagh
  • Third Place – Sarah Mulligan, St Louis Grammar School, Antrim

Check out what Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin has to say about science!

Here’s the video featuring Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, the former Rose of Tralee, who is a science teacher and who has just returned to full-time education to do a PhD in maths education at Trinity College Dublin. Ní Shúilleabháin is one of the ambassadors for Dublin City of Science 2012. And her message for students, with all of the science events happening around the island this year? “Get involved. Just come and have fun!”

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin on the importance of science education

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic