Science ed programme seeks to inspire kids to tackle complex challenges

29 Aug 2022

Eight-year-old Anwesha at the launch of AMBER’s STEM education programme. Image: Marc O’Sullivan

The AMBER research centre is running a free education programme designed for teachers by teachers.

A new science education programme has been designed to help teachers inspire the next generation of scientists in Ireland.

The free programme is being made available for teachers by AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research at Trinity College Dublin.

The programme has a number of different courses designed for different age groups, from junior infants to transition-year students.

It has been developed by teachers and piloted in schools in a bid to integrate STEM subjects into the broader curriculum.

According to AMBER’s education manager, Dr Amy Fahy, the programme aims to provide students with a positive view of science through practical activities.

“From climate change to the energy crisis, so much of what children hear about the scientific world might sound very complicated and gloomy, so our programme is specifically designed to inspire and to equip them with the knowledge and confidence that they need to explore and address societal challenges.”

‘We want to equip teachers across Ireland with the tools and activities that could unlock a passion and possibly a future career in science for their pupils’
– DR AMY FAHY

As part of the programme, Amber is also offering free co-taught sessions and visits from scientists to bring materials science to life in the classroom.

Fahy said that she and her team wanted the course to be “as practical and relevant as possible”.

She added that many of the activities are linked to sustainable development goals that Amber’s own researchers and scientists are currently working on. Some of the projects students can expect to work on include creating biodegradable plastics and exploring electricity and chemical reactions.

“This programme will help our youngest generation to develop important 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking as well as the foundations of literacy and numeracy,” said Fahy, who is herself a primary school teacher.

“Ultimately, we want to equip teachers across Ireland with the tools and activities that could unlock a passion and possibly a future career in science for their pupils.”

More information on Amber’s education programmes can be found on its website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

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