PUPILS from 35 Limerick schools have taken part in the ESB Science Blast at Mary Immaculate College, which is aimed at increasing involvement in STEM subjects.
The Limerick event was packed out, over three days, with nearly 150 schools and 3,500 students from all over Ireland. Entire classes, from third to sixth were involved in this non-competitive education initiative last week where they investigated the science behind a simple question about the world around them.
ESB Science Blast nurtures STEM skills (Science, Maths, Engineering) and is a great way for curious children to learn science in a fun, non-competitive and hands-on method.
Alongside ESB as title sponsor, this initiative is part funded by Science Foundation Ireland through the SFI Discover programme, as well as a number of other partners.
Research commissioned prior to the ESB Science Blast Limerick event revealed most parents of primary school students want to see an increased focus on science education, as they believe it will give their children an advantage in their future careers and be beneficial for society.
The research, conducted by iReach amongst 500 parents, showed that 95 per cent of parents identified the growing need for their children to learn life skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. As a result, parents ranked science as one of the top five most important subjects, along with Maths and English, in delivering these life skills.
Participating in the ESB Science Blast encourages students to engage with the Four Cs of STEM education: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication, each an essential part of their investigation.
All of the participating schools displayed the findings to their chosen investigations at Mary Immaculate College. Some of the questions that the students have been investigating this year included: Why is the sky blue? What type of bread moulds the fastest? Can you feel sound? Why is the sea salty? Why are triangles used in structures?