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26 Sept 2022

New education programme aims to bring solutions-focused STEM into classrooms in Waterford

New education programme aims to bring solutions-focused STEM into classrooms in Waterford

The education programme has been developed by qualified teachers and piloted in schools to integrate STEM subjects into the broader school curriculum

Designed and delivered by teachers for teachers, a new education programme which seeks to inspire the next generation of scientists has been launched by AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research at Trinity College Dublin.

The education programme, which includes courses tailored for age groups from infants to Transition Year students, has been developed by qualified teachers and piloted in schools to integrate STEM subjects into the broader school curriculum.

All lesson plans and teaching resources are linked to curricular objectives. Additionally, as part of the programme, AMBER are offering teachers in Waterford cost-free co-taught sessions and visits from scientists to bring materials science to life in the classroom.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Amy Fahy, Primary School Teacher and Education Manager at the AMBER Centre, said the programme seeks to break down materials science for students and to inspire future scientists with solutions-focused 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 wanted this course to be as practical and relevant as possible, that’s why many of the activities, from creating biodegradable plastics and exploring electricity and chemical reactions, are linked to sustainable development goals which our own AMBER researchers and scientists are working on right now.

“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.

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

The AMBER education programme is available as a whole-school professional development course for primary and junior cycle teachers, STEM specialist teachers and for school management teams.

For more information, visit https://ambercentre.ie/engage/schools/overview/.

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