WexSci, Wexford Science Festival is coordinated by Calmast, the South East region’s STEM Hub based at Waterford Institute of Technology, in partnership with Wexford County Council Library Service and 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 2021, 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 early years centres, primary schools, secondary schools, after school services and community development projects. This year, the festival was able to provide a number of schools and groups with various STEM workshop kits and STEM Learning Resources. These kits and resources have proven to be very popular with young and older learners alike.
STEM workshop kits and learning resources were provided to a range of primary and secondary schools, local community groups, new communities across the county.
A wide range of kits was available for all ages and abilities.
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/