The Programme is designed to nurture an interest in science with the next generation.
Science Forward, a programme which has involved 80 schools nationwide, reaching over 2,000 sixth class pupils concludes today at the Athlone Institute of Technology. Science Forward was developed by Bord Gáis Networks in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland. The programme was launched three years ago and tripled in size to over 2,000 pupils for the 2013/14 school year. The pupils are brought to third level sites to experience what science has to offer and are trained in a series of experiments specifically designed to generate their interest in science in a fun and engaging way. The programme aims to offer a real sense of what science has to offer and a look at the opportunities that lie in the sector.
Launching in Trinity College Dublin last October, the 2013/14 Science Forward Programme has since visited third level institutions in Dublin, Limerick, Cavan, Galway, Waterford, Cork, Carlow, Sligo before finishing today in Athlone.
Experiments and lessons students have participated in throughout the year have included studies of the brain, fingerprinting and understanding how to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide. These workshops are designed to encourage students to continue with science into secondary school and beyond.
Speaking on the success of Science Forward’s 2013/14 rollout , Bord Gáis Networks MD Sean Casey said:
“It has been another very successful year for Science Forward – reaching 2000 students in 80 schools across 14 counties delivered by our staff to the tune of 500 volunteer hours. As well as promoting science to students, Science Forward also helps students to see the opportunities it presents and its role in our society and economy. Ireland’s new economy is largely being driven by growth in the STEM sector – a sector suffering a skills shortage but one which has minimum unemployment and major job growth (Note ₁). Developing the talent and competencies to support this growth requires a suitably educated and skilled workforce. Our belief is that Science Forward can help cultivate a greater number of science graduates in the medium and long term. This is important for our business but in line with our commitment to responsibility, it is also important that we contribute to meeting the needs of society”.
“Science Forward introduces science to the students in a very hands-on and enjoyable manner. The specially-trained volunteers guide their respective groups of students through workshops focussing on various elements of science. Learning how the brain functions, the dangers of carbon monoxide and identifying fingerprints are amongst the highlights, each underlining the relevance of science to their everyday lives and designed to foster the next generation.”
Science Forward introduces science to the students in a very practical but entertaining and interactive manner. The trained volunteers involved in the programme lead their respective group of students through individual workshop sessions focussing on various elements of science and experiments to signify the relevance in day-to-day life. Learning how the brain functions, the dangers of carbon monoxide and identifying fingerprints are amongst the features of the experimental and workshop elements of the programme. All of which are designed to nurture an interest in science and to highlight the relevance of science in everyday life and in all walks of life.