Developed by West Cork Education Centre under the leadership of Mary O’Donovan (Director) together with Professor John F. Atkins, Research Professor at UCC and Board member at West Cork Education Centre in collaboration with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre,UCC (Catherine Buckley) and in association with Blackrock Castle Observatory, LifeTime Lab and the Irish Photonics Centre, Tyndall Institute.
In April, Primary Schools were invited to participate in this innovative Primary Science Project. Catherine Buckley APC, UCC facilitated a teachers’ information workshop where the Living Things Strand of the SESE Curriculum was explored. This inquiry based Science Learning evening provided teachers with background knowledge and tools to explore DNA through using simple experiments and tools.
On June 15th, schools involved with this project, showcased their research and experiments through Model displays, Food Testing demonstrations, photo collages, demonstration of experiments including extraction of DNA from strawberries etc. An integral part of the day was the opportunity for schools to showcase their work through dialogue with other schools which contributed to their oral and presentation skills development.
The showcase of stands were well complimented by activities provided by associated partners including the StarDome from Blackrock Castle Observatory, Marine Explorers Education Programme with LifeTime Lab, the Alimentary Inflatable Tunnel from APC and demonstrations from the Irish Photonics Centre at the Tyndall National Institute.
Local TD, Michael McCarthy addressed all present and visited the various stands and activities. The Chairperson of the Management Committee of West Cork Education, Dympna Daly was present together with Board member, Noel Coakley.
Michael McCarthy together with West Cork Education Centre Board Members were on hand to support the Director in presenting awards and certificates to all participating schools.
As Director of West Cork Education Centre, I am very pleased with the success of our first Primary Schools’ Science of Life Fair. The standard of showcase presentations was very high and clearly demonstrated the level of research which teachers and students had engaged in for this project. I wish to applaud the support of collaborating and associated partners who provided great learning opportunities for the attendees. It is vital that we continue to promote science education in West Cork and continue to bring the many wonders of science which is in rapidly evolving space, into our classrooms.