Oct 06 2017 Posted: 00:00 IST

‌Following a hugely successful pilot year of its Teachers in Residence Programme, CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, is now enrolling for the second year of the programme with applications being accepted up to October 20th 2017.

The Teachers in Residence programme supports both primary and secondary school teachers in science education and promotes equal opportunities in science for all students in the classroom. The programme has ten places available annually, for five primary and five secondary school, with priority placement given to teachers from DEIS schools. The residency runs for 10 evenings over six months from October to March. As part of the residency, teachers and their students get to attend educational workshops run by CÚRAM, during the Galway Science and Technology Festival in November 2017 and participants of the programme will be granted a small honorarium to assist with any travel costs.

Teachers will work directly with researchers  to develop content for the classroom, while learning about the medical device research being carried out at CÚRAM that will improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s and heart disease.

“We were really impressed with the level of dedication and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers in the pilot year of the programme” says Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, “We now have a suite of excellent resources developed for both primary and secondary school classrooms which will be built on year by year by these teachers, who are the real experts when it comes to engaging the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our goal is to provide inspiration for teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge research happening here in Ireland and working with them to incorporate it into classroom activities. If we can inspire and excite the teachers, our hope is it passes onto their students for years to come”.

During the residency, teachers are introduced to and linked to the range of educational resources provided by Science Foundation Ireland and to the ReelLife Science video competition for primary and secondary schools. A guest speaker will also lead a workshop around encouraging equal opportunities in STEM careers for both boys and girls. 

Lesson plans and classroom activities developed during the pilot programme will be made available online at the end of October and participants in this year’s programme will evaluate and develop these further. The resources developed through the programme constitute a ‘learning module’ about CÚRAM and MedTech in Ireland that links with multiple streams and themes in the primary and junior cycle curricula.

To find out more, please contact sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie. Expressions of interest forms are available to download here.  To apply for a place, please email the completed TIR 2017-2018 Expression of Interest form to sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie by Friday 20th October 2017.

Lesson plan kits developed during last year’s residency programme are also available in the Public Engagement section of the website. 

About CÚRAM

CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, is a multidisciplinary centre bringing together research strength and capacity in biomaterials, drug delivery, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, glycoscience, and device design. The Centre’s vision is to develop affordable, innovative and transformative device-based solutions to treat global chronic diseases. CÚRAM supports industry from basic scientific research, through translational preclinical and clinical development, into regulatory and commercialisation readiness.

CÚRAM has developed a robust education and public engagement programme called ‘Breaking Barriers’ in support of the Science Foundation Ireland goal of ‘having the most scientifically informed and engaged public’.  The programme revolves around three core residency programmes, for artists, filmmakers and teachers, which create innovative ways for communities to engage with STEM. Outputs to date include the development of MedTech lesson plans and activity kits by the Teachers in Residence that fit with both the primary and secondary school curricula, the production of three short documentaries that focus on research into Parkinson’s disease, tendon repair and diabetes which are being broadcast nationally, touring film festivals in Europe and the US and being used as educational tools in community events, and the development of art-science projects with under—represented communities that offer an alternative ‘way in’ to the world of science for those who have not had an opportunity for STEM engagement in the past.  As well as promoting the wide range of STEM educational and career opportunities, the goal of the EPE programme is to build awareness of the cutting edge research that is happening in Ireland and to help to create a sense of ownership and pride in Irish STEM expertise and the impact on healthcare that Irish researchers are having on a global level. The programme is building relationships between researchers and key community partners who invest in the programme and help to disseminate outputs of the programme, in particular to under-represented and under-engaged communities.

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