Science Hub Youtube Channel
In the summer of 2011 the Learning Hub launched an innovative new project called “Science Hub”. The Science Hub was created with the overall aim of encouraging the uptake and completion of science subjects at post-primary level among pupils attending schools with designated disadvantaged status (DEIS) in Limerick City. Knowledge of science and technology is becoming increasingly more important to society and sadly, many children and in fact many large areas are not getting the educational opportunities they deserve. We feel that if we can encourage an interest in science before pupils reach second level, they may have a greater interest in pursuing science as a subject in future.
We began construction of a purpose built mini-lab to run our workshops in and by the end of the summer Science Hub was born:
(For photographs of the construction, please click here: http://www.learninghub.ie/science-at-the-hub/science-hub-under-construction/)
Initially, we piloted the Science Hub project with a group of 12 primary school children who attended weekly after-school workshops at the Hub. The project was very successful and the children really enjoyed and seemed to benefit from participating in the workshops. That same group attended the BT Primary Science Fair in the RDS, Dublin in January 2012 and received high praise from the judges on their project.
As you can see, attending the Science Fair has become something of a tradition…
Since we began the project, we have significantly grown and developed the range of services we offer to our users. As well as our after-school workshops (which are still going strong!) we now run science workshops with schools twice a week geared towards supplementing the Primary Science Curriculum. We also cater for external organisations and run Science Magic Shows. Increased interest in the project has drawn schools and children from all over Limerick City and County to attend our workshops and use the Science Hub as an access point to STEM education and learning.
We use our direct linkages with third level institutions (UL, LIT Mary I and LCFE) and industry in order to promote the relevance of STEM to pupils, teachers and the community.
Our links with local 3rd level institutions also provide us with all of our student volunteer mentors or “Learning Buddies” as we like to call them.
These 3rd level student volunteers are essential in running the Science Hub and provide a very important resource to the children in terms of information on careers and further education in STEM.
The Science Hub has become a key focal point within the community for information on careers in Science, informing all involved in the partnership of the variety and scope of careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas.
For weekly updates on the goings on in Science Hub please visit our Facebook page or blog at the links below: