WexSci, Wexford Science Festival is led by Wexford County Council Library Service and the Community Development Department and is delivered in partnership with our festival stakeholders. The role of our outreach programme is integral to the work of the festival and we aim to highlight the potential and real-life application of science, engineering and technology in a practical and easy to understand manner. It is also part of our core mission to constantly seek opportunities where we can play a key role in promoting awareness and understanding of the importance and relevance of STEM to everyday life.
In 2020, the festival worked with some of our community and educational partners to provide access to STEM activities for young people across the County. The WexSci festival was delighted to work with St. Fintan’s National School, Taghmon, FDYS Bunclody Afterschool, and FDYS Enniscorthy Roma Community Inclusion Programme to support their STEM activity days. This year, the festival was able to provide a number of schools and groups with a STEM workshop kits and a one year subscription to STEM Learning Resources. These kits and resources have proven to be very popular with young learners.
STEM workshop kits and learning resources were provided to the FDYS Enniscorthy Roma Community Inclusion Programme, Scoil Réalt na Mara Kilmore, FDYS Bunclody Afterschool , Edmund Rice Senior School, New Ross, Scoil Mhuire, Wexford, Star of the Sea NS, Riverchapel and St Senan’s Primary School, Enniscorthy. We plan to bring you more information about these kits from the County Wexford Library Service in the coming months.
This six-week Co-creation project explored energy and its generation, focusing on renewable energy and the choices to be made so that energy generation is effective, appropriate and sustainable. Michelle Maher, scientist co-ordinated this co-creation project with Youth Train CTC and encouraged students to explore these topics in a very practical and hands-on way. In the spirit of science experimentation and exploration, the learners aged 17-21 were equal co-creators and were key to shaping the programme and learning outcomes. Learning skills such as critical thinking, accepting failure as merely a setback, team working, creativity and communications permeated the content and approach.
Participating students, having completed the hands-on workshops, clearly increased their confidence and developed new practical skills to design and manipulate products. The students also displayed a greater appreciation and understanding of the role that science has played in developmental and socioeconomic advancement.
‘It was really interesting. We designed rockets powered by household liquids, and air-powered too. This prepared us for the design of racing cars and wind turbines to look at renewable energies and designs for the future.’
‘The skills we used were teamwork and communications. We had to be creative and to share ideas. They did not always work but we learned from them. Perseverance was key to getting our results.’
Youth Train in Wexford Town provides a young person aged 16 – 21 years with an opportunity for real and meaningful change. Supported by Waterford Wexford ETB and managed by a local Board of Management, Youth Train is an effective support to young people and a support for future employment in Wexford.
For more information visit- http://youthtrainwexford.com/
In October 2020, WWETB launched a new STEM Research Grant for WWETB Students.
The aim of the programme is to offer students the opportunity to experience the research grant application process in the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Applications were invited from students across WWETB’s 12 post-primary schools. Students collaborated with their teachers and decided on a suitable research question/hypothesis.
We look forward to reading all about the successful research projects as the research reports will be published in the first WWETB Science Journal in 2021.
Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) provides a comprehensive range of education and training services throughout Waterford and Wexford and is the largest education and training provider in counties Waterford and Wexford.
WWETB’s educational and training provision includes second-level schools, further education colleges and a range of adult and further education centres delivering education and training programmes, Post Leaving Certificate Courses (PLCs), Youthreach centres, Outdoor Education and Youth Services. For more information please visit http://waterfordwexford.etb.ie/