ESB Science Blast Takes Off in Tipperary as Parents of Primary School Kids See Science as Key to Their Future

  • Limerick and Belfast event follows successful and well-received Dublin event
  • Entire 3rd to 6th classes involved in a non-competitive education programme investigating the science behind a simple question
  • Research with Munster parents reveals:

o 77% believe basic scientific knowledge gives their children an advantage in life

o 95% want their children to learn science to develop critical thinking and life skills in primary school

  • Additional spaces added to meet overwhelming demand – application deadline moved to April 3rd

ESB Science Blast Takes Off in Tipperary as Parents of Primary School Kids See Science as Key to Their Future

Pictured is Aoibhe Brophy, Emma Phelan, Sophie Fitzgerald Dooley, Leah Delaney, Sarah Maher Kenneally, Alison Crofton from S N Cronanin Naofa, Tipperary and their project ‘Does a digital detox make a difference to our concentration and wellbeing’ at the inaugural ESB Science Blast at the RDS. Which will see over 6,000 primary school children participate over two days. Research from the RDS, the event organisers, reveals that 82% of Irish parents believe basic scientific knowledge gives their children an advantage in life.

Research conducted on behalf of the RDS reveals most parents of primary school students in Munster 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.

This research was commissioned to coincide with the ESB Science Blast Limerick event and conducted by iReach amongst 500 parents. Developed and delivered by the RDS, ESB Science Blast Limerick will host over 3,600 primary school students from more than 140 schools over two days. The Limerick event follows the first of three that took place in Dublin in March. Later this year will be the third and final showcase event, taking place in Belfast which will see over 2,000 students participating. ESB Science Blast nurtures STEM skills (Science, Maths, Engineering & Maths) through entire primary school classes investigating a simple question about the world around them. It is a great way to learn science in a fun, non-competitive and hands-on method, that has many proven benefits.

Limerick and Belfast Events To Showcase to Mirror the Success of Dublin’s Event

The RDS hosted an incredibly successful event this past March where 6,000 students from 259 schools presented the results of their chosen projects. All 82 judges were suitably impressed as they walked the 10 isles, filled with hundreds of experiments, and thousands of energetic and exuberant children – not to mention the 6,000 or so yoyos that were handed out to students (and one or two interested educators).

Organisers were similarly enthralled to see how the dedication and commitment of so many people – adults and children alike – came together to create such an eclectic show of enthusiasm for education and investment in Ireland’s children.

Due to incredible demand, the deadline for applications to participate in the Limerick showcase has been moved to April 3rd, in the hopes of accommodating as many interested schools as possible.

Scientific Advances and Advantages

The research shows that 95% of Munster 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.

In fact, the research showed parents understand the critical role of science today. 76% of parents in Munster believe a good understanding of science is needed to live and work today. The majority (77%) also believe basic science education will give their kids an advantage in life. A large proportion of parents (62%) talk with their children about science subjects and activities in their school.

When it comes to their children’s future, the majority of parents (81%) are open to their child pursing science as a career. Over three quarters (79%) of parents see good career opportunities for their children, if they learn about science.

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 140 schools will display the findings to their chosen investigations at Mary Immaculate College from May 21st to the 23rd. Some of the questions that the students have been investigating this year are:Why is the sky blue? How much weight can spaghetti hold? Why do things smell? Why is water clear? How do we stop onions making us cry? How do magnets work? Is chocolate good for you? Why do your fingers go wrinkly in water?

The skills that the students gain from working on their investigations are essential science skills, but also vital life skills,” says Michael Duffy, RDS. “Such skills are increasingly recognised as desirable in workplaces all over the world.

The RDS has been cultivating interest in science and helping to develop science skills in Ireland for generations. We know that a positive interaction with science at a young age can make a vital difference to later education choices. We hope that all participants enjoy exploring the amazing possibilities of science through their investigation, but that for some of them this is the start of a life-long interest.”

ESB is the title sponsor of the event across all three venues. Chief Executive, Pat O’Doherty commented on their involvement: “ESB is committed to supporting STEAM education and learning as a way of empowering young people to fulfil their potential and encouraging them to positively engage with the issues and challenges facing society. ESB Science Blast taps into the innate curiosity and creativity of children to help them develop key 21st century skills that will enable them to critically assess the world around them and become the problem solvers and influencers of the future”.

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.

The Limerick showcase event takes place on May 21-23 with more spaces added for interested schools to apply by April 3rd. The deadline for Belfast participation remains open until April 3, with the showcase event taking place on June 5-6.

To find out more about the event visit www.esbscienceblast.com

Keep in touch via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Showcase events:

  • Mary Immaculate College, Limerick May 21-23;
  • ICC Belfast June 5-6.

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