Delivering world-class STEAM opportunities with NI Science Festival

Delivering world-class STEAM opportunities with NI Science Festival

By Joe Carlin, Education Manager, Nerve Centre

At Nerve Centre, we're a future-focused team, ensuring the next generation is equipped and prepared to thrive in a rapidly evolving, digital-centric world.

We're dedicated to making STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) education engaging, accessible and inspiring for every young learner and educator in Northern Ireland.

The Power of Partnership

Our dedication to advancing STEAM education drives us to seek out and develop strategic partnerships both locally and globally. Our partnership with the NI Science Festival, which has grown over 7 years is a prime example of this in action. Together, we've created an education programme that utilises our combined experiences, connections and insights.

This strategic partnership has enabled us to connect with thought leaders, educators and organisations such as the Manchester United Foundation and the South Africa Observatory, to offer unparalleled educational experiences to classrooms and communities across Northern Ireland.

Overview and Impact

Through our partnership, outreach took a variety of interactive and educational formats, reaching a diverse audience of students and educators. Through in-class workshops, online webinars and in person events open to schools and the general public, we wanted to captivate the minds of audiences, challenging what learning looks like.

Here's just a glimpse into our impact:

  • Workshops: Our workshops took place in 9 schools across Northern Ireland, engaging 296 Primary and 58 Post Primary pupils, including 22 home-schooled children.

  • Webinar Series: Our webinars, reaching over 100 schools and over 6000 pupils, covered a wide range of topics, from the practical applications of Micro:bits to the science behind sporting endurance.

These webinars are now freely available on our YouTube channel, serving as a valuable resource for classroom learning which can be accessed at any time.

Foyle Science Showcase

The Foyle Science Showcase at the Foyle Arena was a highlight event of our programming. Here we really got to see the excitement and curiosity around STEAM within the North West.

  • Two Days of Discovery: With one day dedicated to school groups and another to families, we wanted to ensure there was something for everyone.

  • Interactive Experiences: Attendees delved into a variety of different subjects, from environmental science with the Loughs Agency, a mini Planetarium from Armagh Planetarium, food science with Acorn Farms, to the science of weather with Barra Best. Science shows by Scientific Sue and Braintastic also brought an entertaining, educational twist to the event.

  • Participation: The event reached full capacity, with the first day welcoming 17 schools with over 600 students, and the Saturday crowd surpassing 1000 attendees!

This incredible turnout was made possible thanks to the commitment of contributors, volunteers and schools who took part, making this event the most successful we have ever delivered.

Looking ahead

It is safe to say we are thrilled with the success of our collaborative partnership this year. We look forward to continuing our work alongside the talented NI Science Festival team, for many years to come.

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