The SSPC Education & Outreach programme actively engages with national primary and post primary schools across Ireland.
Teacher Professional Development SSPC actively engages in the provision of professional development training to teachers. The SSPC organises the National Science Demonstration Annual Workshop, which was attended by teachers all over Ireland. The course programme is designed to upskill science teachers and educators by providing them with the knowledge and expertise to promote problem and inquiry-based learning and to conduct over 40 engaging and interactive attention grabbing science demonstrations, which are linked to real world science applications.
Transition Year Educational Programme SSPC developed 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 September-December 2014, the programme was piloted by teachers in transition year science classes. This pilot phase enabled the SSPC to engage in further feedback from teachers and pupils before the full programme launch in February 2015.
SSPC Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS) Programme The SIAS programme is aligned with SSPC's research, focusing on analytical chemistry, and the use of spectroscopic equipment in quality control and drug analysis. The area is particularly relevant to the Leaving Certificate Chemistry curriculum, as the topics are presented, yet classroom access to instrumentation in the West of Ireland is virtually non- existent. Additionally, SSPC researchers who deliver the programme to schools include a SMART FUTURES careers talk at each school, aligning the two initiatives and providing further rationale and context for pupils to link the activities with future careers. This programme provides coverage for the West of Ireland, particularly focusing on key geographical areas with little to no STEM activity such as: Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare and Kerry.
The TEMI project TEMI continuous professional development (CPD) programme. Over 958 teachers attended CPD across 9 countries in Europe. This has amounted to 58 cohorts of teachers receiving over 1371 hours of CPD at 183 workshops. SSPC worked with 65 teachers, and have continued to deliver a shortened CPD through a partnership with the Irish Science Teacher Association (ISTA) and Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) to a further 309 teachers across Ireland (Limerick, Clare, Galway, Kilkenny, Sligo, Donegal, Tipperary, Kildare, Cork). The TEMI project has allowed the SSPC EPE team to expand, providing a scholarship for an EPE PhD student.
SSPC launched the Science Foundation Ireland Discover funded initiative website, see video here
- The SSPC has eveloped a suite of educational videos of interactive experiments that can be used within the classroom to put the 'WOW' back into science. Check them out here
Speakers for Schools Programme
- SSPC participates in the SFI Speakers for Schools Programme. In August 2014, 20 SSPC members attended training for the SFI Speakers for Schools Programme. For more information and to identify a speaker for your school please visit the SFI Speakers for Schools website.
Internships/Transition Year Work Placements
- SSPC engages in hosting secondary school teachers during the summer months. In the Summer of 2014, SSPC hosted teachers from across the country to engage in the development of an 'Innovations in Medicine' educational programme.
- SSPC also engages in transition year work placements. SSPC offers internships/transition work experience to second-level students. This year, SSPC hosted a number of transition year students on work placement within the SSPC.
- SSPC engages in Smart Futures, which is a national campaign for second-level students in Ireland, highlighting career opportunities in STEM sectors such as medical devices, information and communications technology (ICT) and energy. In May 2014, Dr Sarah Hayes, SSPC Education and Outreach Officer hosted a Science Magic show and judged and presented a prize at the SMART Careers Competition in Mallow. Click here for more photos from the event. For more information on Smart Futures please visit http://smartfutures.ie/