‘Our Universe’, a primary school science education programme delivered by Gas Networks Ireland in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI), has arrived in Donegal. Exploding the myth that science is difficult, Our Universe delivers interactive and practical science based lessons to 6th class primary students. Ayr Hill National School, Ramelton will be the first school in Donegal to participate in the programme which, on an annual basis, involves over 5,000 primary school students nationwide.
Our Universe is designed to encourage students to continue with science as they transition to second level and each year over 200 volunteers from organisations around the country will have the opportunity to get involved in the programme. Volunteers are recruited and trained by JAI to facilitate the in-classroom programme, which is an integral part of Gas Networks Ireland’s commitment to fostering students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Sandra Moore, Principal of Ayr Hill National School is delighted for the school to be involved. “Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science and technology as they move on to 2nd level education. Our Universe complements the primary school science curriculum and enables students to explore STEM as well as encouraging them to consider science subjects as they progress beyond primary level. We welcome industry and education working together to excite young people about studying science and the skills required for success”.
Our Universe is comprised of five modules which spans the fundamentals of science highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives. Labour market data shows that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sector despite major growth and employment opportunities in the area.
Our Universe is a great programme to educate students in the areas of energy, physics, chemistry and biology. The lessons focus on areas that appeal to young people such as how the human skeleton works, how forensic science helps solve crime as well our own energy module. We hope that students and business volunteers alike enjoy the programme and that, in the long term, it will help to cultivate a greater number of STEM graduates and skilled professionals in the future” said Caroline O’Connor, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Gas Networks Ireland.