independent

Sunday 8 December 2019

Scientastic Scoil Mhuire kids develop town of the future

Michelle Maher with Cassie McMahon and Maya Skowron
Michelle Maher with Cassie McMahon and Maya Skowron

Simon Bourke

The town planners of the future have showed those in power how it should be done during a special 'Scientastic' day at Scoil Mhuire in Coolcotts.

Tasked with creating their own 'Green City' the pupils, who ranged from third to sixth classes, engineered, designed and powered a 3D model of Wexford town complete with circuit boards, wind turbines and sustainable energy.

Michelle Maher, an education consultant with extensive experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education works, organised the event and she explained how the children put together their vision for the future.

'The Cool Planet Primary Outreach Programme is funded by Wexford County Council and we wanted to have the kids explore renewable energy and circuits. First they made their own circuit boards and a wind turbine in class.

'Then the parents came in to work with the kids then and together they designed a Green City; a 3D model of Wexford town with they then inserted the circuit boards into and lit up. They all got to bring home a part of the town afterwards,' Michelle said.

And Michelle stressed how important it is to expose children to the STEM subjects at a young age.

'It's absolutely essential to introduce children to the STEM subjects from a young age. Using a hands-on creative approach and allowing them to problem solve and use critical skills.

'It's all about closing that skill gap, these are the jobs of the future so the earlier you get them involved the better. But the kids today are brilliant, they know exactly what solar panels are, what cicuit boards are, what they do, and everything else.'

Discussing the goals of the programme and its future aims, Michelle said she wanted to 'encourage young people to develop an understanding of the world around them. Our goal is to inspire 21st century problem solvers and design innovative solutions towards a low carbon future.'

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