Science and Engineering Outreach
We have an international reputation for excellence in research and make meaningful contributions regionally and internationally. NUI Galway Science and Engineering education outreach is extensive.
Research units facilitate outreach activities: the Ryan Institute (RI) for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research, the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), the Centre for Astronomy (CfA) and the Applied Optics Research Group (AO).
DERI’s primary programme was established in 2004 and now currently partners 28 primary schools in Galway city and county introducing the lastest web technology into a range of subject areas.
AO’s Primary School Outreach Programmes are tailored to the curriculum concentrating on Optics and Light. The programmes may be delivered in the schools or on site at the AO Research Centre.
RI have developed a series of interactive workshops aimed at promoting positive environmental awareness and support through the SESE curriculum.
REMEDI's Primary School Outreach Programme is called "ReadySetBio!" The road show, sponsored by Discover Science & Engineering, made stops in Counties Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and Leitrim during National Science Week in November engaging more than 300 young people. Past themes include, “Science- Shaping Our World.”
At the Engineers Week of Wonder, NUI Galway staff and students from Information Technology, along with other disciplines of the College of Engineering and Informatics host a day long event, attracting over 120 Galway primary school pupils. The event offers primary school students the opportunity to interact with and see demonstrations of practical applications in all branches of engineering, including Information Technology.
The Engineers Week is part of an annual national initiative to spark awareness and enthusiasm about the engineering profession to people of various ages with little or no engineering background. As part of the Information Technology's presentations a challenge was posed to the primary school pupils to solve a mathematical clue to determine how many sweets were in a jar.
Digital Hedge School Project
Established in 2006, the highly successful Digital Hedge School Project (DHSP) is led by the RI and involves a team from the RI and the local environmental education project Brigit’s Garden. The main component of the DHSP is an 8-week transition year “Environmental Peer Education” programme.
REMEDI’s Secondary Schools’ Science Essay Competition is sponsored by Medtronic and receives over 120 entries a year. This competition is open to include senior cycle students in Northern Ireland. "Debating Science Issues" the Wellcome Trust-sponsored debate competition, entailed the facilitation and delivery of 3-hour ethical workshops on embryonic stem cell research to 124 students in 8 schools throughout Co. Galway.
DERI provides seminars and lectures to students, teachers and parents on different aspects of current and future developments on web technology.
AO delivers Transition Year Programmes and have designed and taught a pilot programme on the curriculum chapter “light” for the Junior Certificate programme. AO also facilitate on site presentations and laboratory tours suitable for second level.
DERI, the NCBES, REMEDI, the RI, and AO, work together to facilitate full-day transition year tours for students interested in pursuing science at third-level. The demand for these tours is high.
Fourth-year biology teachers-in-training from St. Angela’s College, Sligo visit and tour REMEDI and the Biochemistry and Anatomy laboratories and to receive brief lectures. A thirty minute talk on the contemporary scientific issues addresses REMEDI’s education and outreach programmes with a subsequent question and answer session.
The RI facilitates “outreach workshops” for postgraduate students interested in developing and delivering their own outreach programmes for schools and communities.
Postgraduate NUI Galway students volunteer with all outreach programmes, sharing their time and expertise while gaining experience and opportunities to build on their skills.
Regular organisation of public seminars, conferences and lectures involving NUI Galway researchers and external experts. DERI facilitates a variety of workshops and short courses on the subjects of podcasting, film production, internet awareness, for example.
The CfA is committed to public understanding of science in general and of astronomy in particular. Members of the centre regularly give public talks and lectures and participate in many science outreach activities. In autumn 2011 we are continuing our programme of Open Evenings at the Imbusch Observatory and public lectures. Each talk, given by a member of the CfA, will discuss a particular area of astronomy normally linked to their research interests. Talks will be suitable for everyone and in particular to 2nd level students.
Fairs and Exhibitions
Off campus, NUI Galway has a strong presence at local and national science fairs and science education promotion events such as the Galway Science and Technology Festival and World Ocean’s Day. In 2009 the RI had an interactive stand marine-based research at NUI Galway for visitors to the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival, and are currently working with the Volvo Ocean Race Festival team “Let’s Do It Galway” to organise a large contribution for the 2012 festival.
Each year for Engineer’s Week, the Ryan Institute work with NUI Galway based Engineers and the Galway City Museum to organize a family day. This year over 350 visitors took part in a variety of interactive exhibits and workshops at this event, on the subject of “Engineering for Communities”.
On campus, annual Research Days, such as those held by the College of Science and by the RI, are designed to promote interaction between the public and NUI Galway’s research community.
Sea2Sky is a free, family-oriented event at which hundreds of scientists will showcase their work in the fields of Marine, Atmospherics and Astronomy. The event will also feature music and entertainment for younger and older visitors. Sea2Sky is being organised by NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Marine Institute and Galway Atlantaquaria.
Exhibits throughout the day will allow the public to learn more about whales and dolphins, take a 3D tour of the universe, tour the Galway Atlantaquaria, check-out scientific demonstrations, and take part in a variety of other hands-on activities.
Scientists will be on hand in the main exhibition hall in Leisureland where stands will display areas of science from energy research and marine life to the study of the solar system. Visitors will have a chance to explore the mini-sea exploration vehicle which was used by scientists in the recent discovery of hydrovents deep in the Atlantic.
Bridging into the area of 'knowledge transfer' various industry open days are important outreach events for NUI Galway. Launch and networking events attract a large number of local and national industry representatives.
The RI actively supports industry-academic engagement, through visits and exchanges and network participation. Most recently, the RI has become a key member of the Galway County Council led Galway Renewable Energy Enterprise Network (GREEN).
DERI holds a series of seminars throughout the year on web technology research for the benefit of the business sector.