'Innovation in Medicines’ - SSPC develop innovative educational programme for post-primary teachers and pupils

Teachers: Catherine Levis, Coláiste Pobaibl, Bantry; Dr Maria Sheehan, St. Caimin’s Community School, Shannon, Co. Clare/ Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), Codie Preston, Rockbrook Park School, Dublin; Clodagh Mitchell, Colaiste Iognaid, Galway ; Rory McShane, pre-service Science teacher, University of Limerick and Dr Sarah Hayes, Education and Outreach Officer SSPC

The SSPC is in the process of developing an innovative educational programme for post-primary teachers and pupils, entitled ‘Innovation in Medicines’. This programme, closely linked to the SSPC molecule, material and medicine research programme, introduces transition year and senior cycle pupils to real world science and research in the area of pharmaceutical manufacturing, development and innovation.

From the 29th-31st of July teachers from across Ireland joined Dr Sarah Hayes, SSPC Education and Outreach Officer, in the laboratory to trial and test experiments, to ensure the programme has input from all sectors before the final programme is developed. Experiments were carried out across areas such as:

  • Bioavailability
  • Crystallisation in medicine
  • Nano in our bodies
  • Development of medicines
  • Quality control/analysis
  • Process control
  • Anatomy/Pharmacokinetics

The teachers worked with Dr Hayes and Rory McShane (a pre-service science teacher who is evaluating the module as part of his final year thesis) and were joined by SSPC scientists and researchers as they trialled and developed experiments for the programme. From September-December 2014, the programme will be piloted by teachers in transition year science classes (if interested in piloting the programme in your classroom please contact Dr Sarah Hayes, e-mail: sarah.hayes@ul.ie). This pilot phase enables SSPC to engage in further feedback from teachers and pupils before the full programme launch in February 2015.

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