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Limerick Science Week celebrates 'Being Human'

Over 2,300 students from across the MidWest participated in Limerick Science Week, co-hosted by MIC, UL and TUS. This year's festival celebrated 'Being Human' and presented a range of activities and experiences to celebrate the role of science and STEM in the lives of people in the Mid-West region. MIC's Department of STEM Education was awarded €12,000 in funding by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to support their role in the Festival.

Professor Aisling Leavy, Head of the Department of STEM Education at MIC, commented “The success of the events this week are evidence of the close partnership between Mary Immaculate College and the broader community. Every year, it is a privilege to provide high quality STEM activities and experiences for adults and children on-site at MIC and in local primary schools. It is wonderful to see children exploring, reasoning and generally enjoying science and mathematics. This week would not be possible without the generosity and interest of our colleagues in the faculties of Arts and Education at MIC, STEM Education faculty and our student teachers - their enthusiasm and initiative ensures that all children have positive experiences of themselves as STEM-learners”.

MIC's involvement was led by event organisers Dr Anne O'Dwyer and Mairead Ryan.

School workshops and shows were organised and were hosted in MIC, as well as other venues throughout the city and counties Limerick and Clare:

  • Fri 10th Nov – Brainteaser Bandits in Mary Immaculate College, facilitated by MIC undergraduate pre-service teachers and members of the STEM Ed. Dept.  
  • Fri 10th Nov- The Magical Science & Engineering Show, presented by Sue McGrath, hosted by St. Finnachtna's NS, Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare.
  • Mon 13th Nov- It’s Only Water, presented by Science Made Simple, hosted in conjunction with Ballyhoura Development in Friar’s Gate Theatre, Kilmallock. Co. Limerick.
  • Mon 13th Nov- Animal Magic, presented by Rosie Campbell in Kilmallock Library, Kilmallock. Co. Limerick
  • Mon 13th-Wed 15th Nov- CSI Workshops, live online workshops facilitated by AnyOne4Science in 10 schools in the mid-west region- counties Clare and Limerick.
  • Tues 14th Nov- Strong Women Science, presented by Circus 250, hosted in St. Anne's Primary School, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick.
  • Wed 15th Nov- Pop Up Psychology Museum, organized by colleagues in the Dept. of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, MIC opened to second level students in G10, Mary Immaculate College.
  • 14th, 16th & 17th Nov - Night’s Candles Are Burnt Out: Climate, Change, Culture, Community STEAM workshop for primary pupils hosted by The Hunt Museum, Limerick City.  
  • Thurs 16th NovA STEAMing focus on Junk Couture organised and facilitated by AnneMarie Morrin, Dept. of Arts Education and Physical Education in the Art Studio, MIC for second level TY students.
  • Fri 17th Nov- The Nutty Scientist, for primary school pupils in Cappamore Library, Cappamore, Co. Limerick.
  • Wed 22nd Nov – Build a Rocket Workshops for primary school pupils, facilitated by Robson Cardoso, in Corpus Christi Primary School and the Limerick Learning Hub, Moyross, Limerick.
  • Wed 22nd & Thurs 23rd Nov – STEM for Fun in Mary Immaculate College, facilitated by MIC undergraduate pre-service teachers and members of the STEM Ed. Dept.

Science Storytime was recorded by WatchHouse Cross Community Library, Moyross, Limerick and shared online throughout the week. The books chosen were Dave and Greta Make the World Better, by Matt Carr and A World for Me and You, Where Everyone is Welcome by Uju Asika & Jennie Poh.

A two-week long STEMMANIA competition was shared on social media with daily challenges and prizes for all primary schools to take part in.

Explorers Wild About Wildlife on the Seashore was another online workshop facilitated on 15th Nov for 2nd to 4th classes from five schools by Nóirín Burke from the Marine Institute’s Education Explorer’s team.

In addition to the events for schools, other free events, open to the public were organised:  

  • Wed 15th Nov- The Science of how we move, organized by MIC colleagues from the LSRE, AEPE and STEM Depts. This interactive workshop for teachers and student teachers examined ways to integrate the PE, SPHE and STEM curricular areas.
  • Thurs 9th & Sat 11th Nov- Reflective Data Visualization, organized by AnneMarie Morrin in the Art Studio, MIC.
  • Thurs 16th Nov- Buzzing with Bee-Bots, workshop presented by Mairead Ryan. This interactive workshop for primary school teachers explored the robotic device Bee-Bot. Bee-Bots are the perfect starting point for teaching control, directional language and programming.

Furthermore the Pop-Up Psychology Museum was open MIC staff and the general public on Wed 15th Nov. The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, MIC welcomed the public to enter their wonderful Pop-up Psychology Museum exploring the wonders of psychology in G10.

Also, on the 15th Nov, Ciara O’ Rourke presented the Science of Nutrition in the Tara Building, MIC. This talk explored the science of sports nutrition, helping the audience understand why performance nutrition plays a vital role in our human body especially when it comes to performing daily tasks or partaking in exercise/sport.