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South East

Challenge Science Opens Up World of Discovery

Challenge Science GenzymeChallenge Science was taken on by 160 school children from six primary schools in Waterford. All of whom got hands on experience of science when they took part in exciting experiments and workshops.

As part of a special two day event Challenge Science pupils aged 10-12 years old from St. Stephen’s B.N.S., St. John of God G.N.S., Mount Sion B.N.S., Our Lady of Mercy Senior Primary School, St. Mary’s N.S. and Waterpark N.S. learned all about forensic science, famous scientists, biopharma and future study and career paths. They also got hands on experience in the science labs at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Now in in its ninth year Challenge Science was developed by Junior Achievement Ireland to introduce primary school pupils to a world of discovery and to make them more aware of exciting study and career opportunities in Ireland’s thriving science, engineering and technology sectors.

In Waterford, Challenge Science was delivered at W.I.T. in partnership with Genzyme, a Sanofi company; with 16 volunteers form the biopharmaceutical company’s Waterford campus leading hands on workshops on Wednesday and Thursday.

Denise Power, Area Manager (South East), Junior Achievement Ireland said it was a terrific couple of days. “The children really jump in to make the most of the workshops where there’s a real emphasis on getting hands on and engaging with experiments. The whole idea is to show that science can be great fun rather than something hard to do. The workshops are also designed to have children working together to help dispel any myths about science being isolated solo work. There’s no doubt that any of those who enjoy Challenge Science will go on to have great professional careers and some of those who attended sessions in our early years of the programme are now through secondary school and are studying science at third level. All of our work is about helping young people achieve their potential and Challenge Science fits very well in that context.”

Gavin O’Brien, Head of H.R., Genzyme Waterford, added their team were delighted to volunteer for Challenge Science and got a great buzz from engaging with the children. However he added “There’s a recognised need to encourage more people to study science, engineering and technology programmes in secondary school and on into higher education so anything we can do to encourage children to start on those pathways is time well spent.”

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