Roscrea teacher gains hands-on experience with SSPC workshop

Eoin Kelleher

Reporter:

Eoin Kelleher

Email:

eoin.kelleher@tipperarystar.ie

Roscrea teacher gains hands-on experience with SSPC workshop

Annmarie Mulrooney, Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré at the national workshop for educators hosted by Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre

Roscrea teacher Annmarie Mulrooney, of Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré, gained hands-on experience at an active learning workshop hosted by the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) recently.

The national workshop for educators, now in its 12th year, hosted by Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded centre and the Dept. of Chemical Sciences, was held in the University of Limerick (UL) recently.

The workshop includes explosions and some of the coolest reactions in chemistry involving a chemical demonstration show, simple physics demonstrations, Spectroscopy in a Suitcase by Royal Society of Chemistry, and will covers safety aspects and the use of ICT in demonstration.

SSPC’s Education and Public Engagement Officer, Dr Martin McHugh said:

“The workshop offers all participants the opportunity to engage with confidence in experiments they can integrate into everyday science chapters. The three days are action packed with guest presenters and there is a huge emphasis on tuition, design, questioning and inquiry-based learning. It’s developed in such a way that it’s hands-on, fun and really engaging for all involved”.

The three-day residential workshop offered exemplary professional development for secondary school science teachers through joint sponsorship by the SSPC, BioPharmaChem Ireland, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemical Sciences at UL. In addition, the workshop is supported by both the Institute of Physics in Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Supporting teachers’ development is vital for the enhancement of the Irish education system, to help educators capitalise on the importance of science in everyday life, creating an active learning environment by integrating demonstrations in the classroom helps expand engagement in learning and develop a repertoire of demonstrations linked to the physical sciences.

The SSPC Education and Public Engagement (EPE) programme funded by Science Foundation Ireland plays a key role in communicating the importance and value of science to the wider society in Ireland. The SSPC’s EPE programmes incorporate customised, context-based activities for each stage of the Irish primary and post-primary educational systems. Additional programmes designed for third/fourth level students, industry, and the general public also play a role in the EPE strategy to promote engagement with SSPC’s research, as well as to create a dialogue among all participants about Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM), particularly in the area of chemistry and pharmaceutical manufacturing.