Dr Niamh Shaw inspires Ballygall pupils to ‘Dream Big’

Dr Niamh Shaw is on a mission to get to space and it’s a mission she’s been on since she started dreaming big growing up in Dundalk. No stranger to our TV screens and recently voted one of Ireland’s leading science communicators, Dr Shaw is passionate about igniting people’s curiosities.

As part of its sustainability programme, Gas Networks Ireland joined forces with Dr Shaw to bring her science-based workshop to pupils in Ballygall for science week, which takes place this year from 13-20 November.

During Friday’s workshop, European Space Agency champion, Dr Shaw told 3rd class pupils from Mother of Divine Grace Primary School in Ballygall about her recent adventures which include her witnessing astronaut launches - including the upcoming Artemis mission to return to the moon - from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre and her chat with the much-loved retired astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield.

Dr Shaw also spoke about her visits to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and to NASA; as well as about how astronauts live on the International Space Station and what lies ahead for human space exploration.

Recently honoured as the recipient of European Space Agency’s 'ESA Champion' awards, in recognition for her work in education, Dr Shaw said:

“My efforts to get to space are not just about my own journey, but also about sharing my experiences and bringing as many people as I can with me by telling my story. Each time I talk about my quest and all my space adventures so far I take a step closer to be a Communicator-in -Space!”

 “I am delighted to partner with Gas Networks Ireland to give the pupils of Mother of Divine Grace Primary School the opportunity to enjoy a unique insight into how my space mission is progressing. But more importantly I want people, especially children to dream big.”

“I believe we can be anything we want to be, if we are brave and bold enough to just let that be. Of course, it requires curiosity, passion and tenacity…and not being afraid to fail and that’s what I will be encouraging those on the webinar to be.”

Grainne O’Reilly, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Gas Networks Ireland, said:

“It was wonderful to learn about Dr Shaw’s Space mission while she ignites young people’s interest in science. As the operator of Ireland’s 14,664km national gas network, which is considered one of the safest and most modern renewables-ready gas networks in the world; science, technology, engineering and maths expertise is at the centre of our business, so we are big supporters of STEM education.”

On Wednesday, Gas Networks Ireland was named as the winner of the ‘Best ESG Campaign or Case Study to Improve Education or Access to Education’ at the international ESG awards in recognition for their school’s engagement initiatives.