Hands-On Learning For 1200 Primary Students at DkIT Science Week16 November 2018
Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) opened its laboratories to more than 1,200 primary school children from across the North Leinster-South Ulster region this week as part of Science Week, the annual festival of learning and discovery. Students from third to sixth class took part in a variety of interactive demonstrations and lab classes aimed at encouraging them to explore science in their everyday lives, ask questions and find out how science explains the world around us.
The Science Week programme was coordinated by the Department of Applied Sciences at DkIT and other researchers from within the Institute. The week commenced with a “Fantastic DNA” Cell Explorers, a hands-on lab class which uncovers the themes of cellular and molecular biology. Budding explorers discovered DNA by building a DNA double helix and extracting DNA from a banana to take home. DkIT is a partner of the SFI-funded Cell EXPLORERS Programme, a nationwide science outreach and public engagement programme based in the School of Natural Sciences in the National University of Ireland, Galway.
This was followed by a series of Pollinator masterclasses where second and third class students were introduced to the amazing world of bees and pollination. Students learned that in Ireland one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction. This is because we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our landscapes.
Later in the week, fifth and sixth class student were treated to a series of interactive demonstrations by W5, the award winning Interactive Discovery Centre based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The session was entitled “How to save the Planet in 45 minutes” and explored the theme of sustainability science, asking the questions what, why and how we reduce, reuse and recycle.
Speaking today, Dr. Arjan van Rossum, Head of Department of Applied Sciences at DkIT commented,
Science Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the exciting world of science and technology and to encourage students to question and consider the crucial role it plays in our everyday lives. This week, we proved yet again that science is fun and that it really is for everyone, regardless of their age. We covered complex topics from molecular biology to sustainability and the environment and the students loved it. Many of our sessions were led by experienced lecturers and researchers from within the Institute who were excited to share their passion for science with our region’s budding scientists of the future.”
To find out more about Applied Science courses offered at DkIT, please visit www.dkit.ie/courses.
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