Welcome to the first Discover Primary Science and Math e-newsletter of 2022! We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas break and are as excited as we are for another fun-filled year of curiosity and learning in Science, Technology Engineering and Maths!
DPSM/ESERO Continuous Professional Development: STEM Education Voucher Scheme
We are delighted to announce that all schools that complete the whole-school DPSM/ESERO CPD in the 2021/2022 academic year will receive a €100 voucher for a STEM education experience with a participating SFI Discover Centre of their choice (limited to one voucher per school). Centres include the Zoo, national parks, interpretive centres, observatories and aquariums. Schools can gain credit towards their Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science and Maths Awards by visiting a Centre.
Our STEM Education Continuous Professional Development workshops for teachers include a suite of three two-hour workshops which have been developed by experts in the areas of Biodiversity (Workshop 1), Insulation (Workshop 2) and Space
(Workshop 3). These workshops can be face-to-face or virtual depending on your preference. This is a chance to upskill and bring some new topics and activities into the classroom. Register here.
For details of the DPSM STEM Education CPD and voucher scheme, click here.
SFI Discover Science and Maths Award 2021/2022
We are very excited to see so many schools registering for the SFI Discover Science and Maths Awards this year. It is a great chance for your school to get the recognition you deserve for all your STEM work. Registered schools will be invited to a number of DPSM Award Briefing webinars throughout the year to guide applicants through the process.
Full details of the Awards, along with downloadable information sheets for each Award can be found here.
The deadline for submitting your log of evidence is 29 April 2022.
Badge of Excellence Award
This year see’s the launch of the DPSM Badge of Excellence for STEM Awareness. This is a third level of achievement that acknowledges schools that have achieved a Plaque of STEM and have also demonstrate excellence in their efforts to raise awareness of and excitement about STEM among pupils, teachers and
parents/guardians. Schools interested in applying for the Badge should begin an application for the Plaque of STEM and indicate their interest in the badge on the application form. Participation is limited to 50 schools for the coming year. All schools working towards a Badge of Excellence this year must submit their pre-badge form with their objectives outlined by Friday 25 February 2022.
Engineers week will run from 5 to 11 March so you have just over four weeks to start planning how your school can get involved. Remember that you can earn credit towards your SFI Discover Science and Maths Award by taking part in Engineers Week so make sure you visit their website for lots of tips on how to join in! We are also creating a brand new Engineers Week Resource booklet especially for primary schools with fun activities that you can run with your class during Engineers Week. This will be available on primaryscience.ie shortly. In the meantime you can access the Space themed ESERO resource here. You can use this resource to help children learn more about gravitational waves and how they are detected using sound and sound waves as a comparison.
Next up after Engineers Week is:
Tech Week: 17 to 23 April 2022
Make sure you start planning how your school can get involved and join in the fun!
Engineers Week 2022 with ESERO Ireland (5 - 11 March )
ESERO has many resources in support of Engineers Week 2022. Our new primary classroom resource explores gravitational waves. We are happy to support primary teachers with this resource so please join us in our primary CPD workshop. You can pop into Blackrock Castle Observatory on Tuesday 8 March at 6pm or you can do the workshop online on Wednesday March 9 at 4pm (both workshops last about 90 minutes). Find out more about the resource and the workshop and register here.
ESERO Ireland Classroom Workshops (primary) : Explore Gravitational Waves
The LIGO and VIRGO detectors have found evidence of gravitational waves, caused by the collision of massive objects like black holes or neutron stars. How do these detectors work, and how do they work together to find out where these collisions happen? We don’t have a handy gravitational wave detector in Cork but we can explore these concepts with sound and our ears!
This workshop will use human hearing and sound to help children understand how we detect sound waves and how we work out where a sound comes from and explore how to arrange detectors to determine where an unknown sound is coming from.
Your visit to Blackrock Castle Observatory will include a hands-on
workshop, a star show and a tour of the historic building.
Dates: March 8, 9 and 11, 2022
Time: 10am to 1pm
Cost: €5 per student
Class Level: 3rd to 6th class, up to 2 classes per day.
If Blackrock Castle is too far away, we can join you remotely for a 45 min session in the afternoon. Available daily during Engineers Week, at 1.30pm each day.
Dates: March 7, 8, 9,10 and 11, 2022
Cost: free of charge
Class Level: 3rd to 6th class, one booking per school, up to three classes per booking.
ESERO Ireland's First Massive Open Online Course
ESERO Ireland has developed a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in partnership with ESERO UK. This Free teacher CPD supports the teaching and learning of Climate Change for teachers of students aged 11 to 14 years. It’s a 3 module course which you can complete in your own time. Topics include "What is climate change?", "How is climate change measured?" and "How can we mitigate climate change?".
More information here.
European Space Agency (ESA) Online Workshops
23 February 2022, 15:30 – 17:30
Level: Primary and Secondary school teachers (beginner level)
Pre-requisites: No previous coding experience required
This training focusses on classroom activities that make use of a learning by tinkering approach in order to develop the pupils’ critical thinking skills and subject knowledge in programming and science experimentation.
Astro Pi computers are small computer devices that are capable of great things. ESA is collaborating with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to run an educational project that makes use of two Astro Pi computers located on the ISS by means of coding and scientific experimentation. During this session, you will be introduced to the Astro Pi software and hardware, including its set of sensors. You will set up and learn to program an
Astro Pi in the language that they communicate – Python. These special computers can for instance be used to communicate with astronauts on board the ISS through the manipulation of text and images on an LED screen, as well as to run science experiments.
Closing of applications: 18 February 2022, 11:00 am. Apply here.
9 March 2022, 15:30 – 17:30
Level: Primary school teachers
Pre-requisites: No pre-requisites
Earth’s weather and climate are complex systems that scientists study using data from satellites and ground-based measurements. In this training, aimed for primary school teachers, we will investigate the differences between weather and climate and explore some of the most important indicators scientists use to study climate change from space. We will explore how these indicators can be used to support your science lessons using a learning approach which focusses on real-world problems to promote the development of STEM competences and global citizenship skills. We will provide examples of hands-on activities and projects that can be developed in the classroom, such as the Climate Detectives project. Join this training and engage your students to become Climate Detectives!
Closing of applications: 04 March 2022, 11:00 am. Apply here.
For this training, we offer two opportunities:
23 March 2022, 15:30 – 17:30
4 May 2022, 15:30 – 17:30
Level: Primary and secondary school teachers
Pre-requisites: No previous experience on programming is required
This training focusses on classroom activities that use the context of a rover mission to Mars. By using challenges and a game-based learning approach, the activities aim at developing pupils’ problem solving and critical thinking skills, and at reinforcing their subject knowledge in science and programming.
In 2022 the first European rover will be launched for its journey to explore the surface of planet Mars and search for traces of past life. In this training, you will be introduced to the secrets of a mission to the Red Planet. How do scientists operate a planetary exploration vehicle on planet Mars? What are the challenges that programmers must overcome
for a successful mission?
You will use satellite images of the Martian surface to analyse its characteristics and select a landing site for your rover. Then, you will program a number of missions, using the Open Roberta Lab online simulation tool. The tool utilises a block-based programming language and supports connectivity to a wide variety of educational robotic kits.
Mars is more than 50 million km away from us, which means that a communication signal will need more than 2,5 minutes to reach its destination! You will experience a similar situation, as your code will be uploaded on an educational robot in our e-technology lab, in the ESA/ESEC facilities, to actually drive on the Martian Terrain simulation table.
Closing of applications:
- on 16 March (11:00 am) for the 23 March course, apply here.
- on 27 April (11:00 am) for the 4 May course, apply here.
ESA Online Teacher Conference: Pre-registration
Save the date and pre-register for the ESA Online Teacher Conference, taking place this July, at the end of the school year. After the amazing success of the first edition, with approximately 600 participants joining the event, we are happy to confirm the second edition. Once again, we will offer you a very rich programme: you will get inspired by space experts, go through educational activities that make use of space science and technology as a context and powerful enabler for your teaching, meet your national ESEROs, and network with your peers. This
will be also an opportunity for you to learn more about planetary exploration, the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, and investigate how to monitor Earth from above, among other amazing activities.
If you have any questions, feel free to email [email protected]
European Space Agency's (ESA) Webb Challenges
With the recent successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, ESA is challenging you to get creative in your classroom and learn more about the world’s largest space telescope!
Each week in the build-up to ESA’s Webb Quest event, ESA Education will be releasing new, fun challenges for your students to get involved in and delve further into the interesting science behind Webb. The challenges are designed to be done at home or in the classroom, with accessible materials and are adaptable to different age ranges.
Our first challenge, Build your Webb, has launched! Get creative and challenge your students to build their very own model of the ground-breaking James Webb Space Telescope, using any materials they like! You could make a telescope out of resources in your classroom, 3D design a model, create an inspired piece of artwork, or get innovative and find a new way to build your very own Webb telescope.
Age Range: 6-19
Keywords: Design, Arts, Science, Technology, Webb, Telescope
#WebbAtHome craft project
We can’t wait to see your designs! If you’d like to share your creations with us, you can do so here.
You can find more information here.
Challenge your students to create a picture just like an astronomer would and draw a pixelated image of the James Webb Space Telescope, by joining ESA’s Pixel your Webb challenge.
Age Range: 8 – 11 years old
Keywords: Mathematics, Design, Arts, Science, Technology, Webb, Telescope
You can find more information here.
Challenge your students to make their very own space mirror by following a step-by-step origami tutorial to create a model of the James Webb Space Telescope primary mirror.
We can’t wait to see your work! If you’d like to share your classroom project with us once completed, you can do so by filling out a form here.
Interested in learning more about astronomy and the James Webb Space Telescope? ESA will be hosting an online educational event on 3 February 2022, 14:00,
with Webb experts Mark McCaughrean and Giovanna Giardino, aimed at secondary school students and educators. Find out more here.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our upcoming Webb challenges, which will be launched over the next few weeks. For more activities, infographics, videos and much more visit our Teach with Astronomy page.
The SFI Discover Centres offer accredited workshops and outreach programmes for primary schools on a range of STEM topics. The Centres support schools to engage in science education outside of the classroom in a curriculum relevant and inquiry-based way and provides opportunities to meet scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines. Schools can gain credit towards their Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science and Maths Awards by visiting a Centre. Updates on exciting upcoming STEM events are available from the SFI Discover Centres listed below.
Ballyhoura Outdoor Classroom
Now that Ballyhoura Heritage and Environment have completed the upgrade to Griston Bog we are really excited to show you the science of it all. Along with a new classroom, walkways, eco toilet and parking we also have developed new modules for Post Primary Junior Cycle. Climate Change, Qualitative & Quantitative, Measurements & Soil Study to name a few. Raised bogs are among the world’s oldest living, near-natural eco-systems. Many of Ireland’s great raised bogs date back almost 10,000 years. Learn about biodiversity, history, heritage and more in a fun, and informal way. All tours can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Contact us on 06391300 or [email protected] for more information or to book your tour.
Bringing Dublin Zoo to Schools – Virtually for Engineers Week
Dublin Zoo has two new virtual outreach programmes for Engineers Week 2022, 7 – 11 March. Zoo teachers will deliver a session using video footage and photos from Dublin Zoo, as well as biofacts and a live Q&A session.
Junior Infants – 2nd Class: Elephant Habitat Design - students will learn all about the life of elephants – their special features, their behaviour, their habitat in the wild and at Dublin Zoo.
3rd - 6th Class: Ecosystem Engineers - learn about some of the animals that help to engineer their environments
in important ways, and how their behaviour helps other species survive and thrive in their environment.
For information on pricing, please contact [email protected]
Glenveagh National Park Education Centre
The Education Centre in Glenveagh National Park are looking forward to welcoming schools into the park over Spring and Summer this year. We are now fully booked, but will be accepting enquiries for Winter/Autumn 2022 in May. We are also planning to run our popular Teacher’s Summer course and workshops later this year.
Glenveagh National Park is delighted to achieve our Green Flag Award for 2021/2022 (https://www.glenveaghnationalpark.ie/green-flag-achieved/).
Now more than ever, we are aware of the impacts we all have on the environment, and caring for our National Park and making sure we set a good example is paramount.
In the zoo we are introducing a new initiative where every month we have a theme we highlight to engage the public further into the animals they encounter at the zoo. Throughout the month of February we are highlighting reproduction and courtship. We’ll be encouraging the public to consider how different species have adapted different ways of impressing potential mates, and how they have adapted their bodies to better continue their family tree.
People can follow us on our social media or sign up to our newsletter for updates here.
The Rediscovery Centre’s STEM & Sustainability project, kindly funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is delivering FREE education workshops to qualifying schools. Learn more here.
Join us for Engineers Week on the 5-11 March for exciting, hands-on engineering workshops! If you can’t join us that week, then consider our regular primary and secondary level workshops on a variety of topics across STEM.
Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre
Tralee Bay Wetlands Eco and Education Park is one of Kerry’s finest attractions both for environmental education and outdoor activities. The courses at the Wetlands are provided by the centre’s resident ecologists. Our educators have years of experience helping broaden students understanding of environmental issues as well as ensuring their full immersion into habitat. The programme includes pond dipping, small mammals, studying, pollinator investigations, natures walks and more.
Visit our webpage or call us on 0667126700 to discuss your
Online outreach workshop from W5: Game Changers
(Age 10-12yrs) (90mins)
Have your students got an idea that could be the next big video game hit? Take the first step towards making that dream a reality! In Game Changers, we’ll learn the basics of block-based coding with MakeCode Arcade, as your pupils design and create a simple video game of their very own.
(Pupils will work in pairs and need access to a tablet or a device during the workshop as well as internet access.)
To make a booking or for more information, please contact:
One of our Learning team members from W5 will send a link via email, to a video call which will allow us to join your classroom remotely.
There is a charge for this workshop.
Wild Nephin National Park
Woman in Dark Skies Online Event
1 February 2022, 19:00
Our first dark sky event of 2022 will welcome special guest speaker Dajana Bjelajac from the Faculty of Sciences in Novi Sad Serbia, where she is currently a teaching assistant and a PhD student in the field of geosciences. Dajana is founder of NGO “Carpe Noctem”, established to raise awareness of environmental light pollution through education.
This online event also marks the first in our “Women in Dark Skies” series and appropriately takes place on St Brigid’s Day (1 February). We hope you can join us.
by email [email protected]
Science Foundation Ireland
Science Foundation Ireland, Three Park Place, Hatch Street Upper, Dublin 2 Ireland
Tel: +353 1 607 3200 | Email: [email protected] | Web: www.sfi.ie