ESB Science Blast – Ireland’s largest primary STEM programme – will explode into life for a second virtual year
- ESB Science Blast goes virtual for a second year
- New suite of online educational tools available to every primary school in Ireland
- Climate change, energy, wellbeing, pandemics and sustainability continue to be core themes for primary students
- Department of Education partners on 2022 programme
26th January, 2022: ESB Science Blast, Ireland’s largest primary Science, Technology, Education and Maths (STEM) programme, will be virtual for a second year. The programme is a key STEM learning experience for primary school children across the island of Ireland demonstrating that science is everywhere. In its first virtual year, over 4000 primary students engaged with this fun, educational programme designed by the RDS.
ESB Science Blast empowers Primary classes (3rd- 6th) to investigate the science behind a question that interests them. Over 120 judges will volunteer their time to meet with classes virtually and provide feedback on investigations. For the first time, a suite of online educational tools are available to support participation in the ESB Science Blast programme and to inspire student’s interest in STEM. A range of lesson plans, animated videos and eight episodes of ESB Science Blast TV are now freely available to all primary schools in both English and Irish. Classes can submit questions in either language.
The programme has repeatedly shown that students are curious about global issues such as pandemics, wellbeing, sustainability, energy and climate change. Since 2020 classes have set out to investigate questions such as, Did our screen time increase during lockdown and what affect did that have on us?, What impact does deforestation have on the planet?, Running a kilometre every day is good for you: fake news or all true? How can we increase biodiversity in our school green area?
This year classes will have an opportunity to share their findings with their school community as schools host their own showcase event and shine a light on the importance of STEM.
ESB Science Blast gives an entire class the opportunity to engage with STEM by giving them the tools and methodologies to investigate a simple question about the world around them. By enabling participants to choose a question that interests them, ESB Science Blast shows children how STEM skills can be used in everyday life to solve problems, find better ways of doing things, and learn about the world around us. Depending on the question they ask, their investigation may touch on a number of different STEM subjects.
The importance of STEM education to foster creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration in learning at primary level is gathering attention in Ireland. The value that ESB Science Blast brings to primary STEM education has been recognised most recently by the Department of Education who will partner with the programme for 2022.
Speaking about the Department’s recent partnership Minister for Education Norma Foley TD, said
“Today’s announcement of an exciting partnership between the Department’s the RDS is an endorsement of the ongoing excellence and creative thinking demonstrated each year at ESB Science Blast. The Department’s STEM Education Policy Statement acknowledges the importance of STEM learning from early childhood. It is through play and engaging with the world around them, discovering how things work and by making things that a child’s curiosity is first ignited by STEM. By engaging in programmes and experiences like ESB Science Blast, young children are developing their natural curiosity, inquisitiveness, creativity, critical-thinking and problem-solving capacities which are built on through their school.
“ESB Science Blast enables and encourages children to investigate a STEM topic that interests them and to work together as team to discover the answers themselves.”
Speaking at the launch Geraldine Ruane, Chief Executive of the RDS said: “The RDS is once again delighted to bring ESB Science Blast to primary schools in all 32 counties. As the largest primary STEM programme, participating in ESB Science Blast uncovers the wonders of STEM for children directly in their classrooms.
While this digital format builds on the past three years of success, we are really building upon a much deeper engagement in science education by the RDS, one that goes back nearly 300 years. Our investment in this education programme is a long-term investment in the future of Irish society.”
Paddy Hayes, Chief Executive of ESB, the title sponsor of ESB Science Blast said; “We are very proud of our partnership with the RDS, and our shared commitment to bring ESB Science Blast to as many schools as possible across Ireland. We know that participation in ESB Science Blast is not only an enjoyable experience, it also helps children develop key life skills like scientific literacy, critical thinking, creativity and communication.”
To join in with this year’s ESB Science Blast teachers are encouraged to simply log onto www.esbscienceblast.com The submission date for class investigations is February 18, 2022.
More information on the program can be found at:
For more information, please contact Malachi Quinn, Communications Manager at email@example.com or 01 240 7211
Notes to editor:
An independent evaluation in 2016 by international education and skills consultancy, ‘The Research Base’, found that 97% of students that participated in the RDS informal STEM education programme believed their involvement had improved their science skills and a had significant impact on pupil’s levels of confidence, communication skills, social skills and teamwork. Evidence also showed that participation in the programme over a number of years had a lasting impact at student, teacher and school levels.
About The RDS:
The RDS (Royal Dublin Society) was founded in 1731 to help Ireland thrive culturally and economically. Today this mission finds voice through RDS programme which spans the areas of the arts, agriculture, equestrianism, enterprise and science. ESB Science Blast is a key project within the RDS Science and Technology programme and an integral way in which the RDS achieves its mission, to contribute to Ireland’s cultural and economic development.
ESB is Ireland’s leading energy company established in 1927. Since its foundation, ESB has brought light and energy to communities in Ireland and beyond, helping them to reach their full potential. Today, ESB is leading the transition to a low carbon energy future, powered by clean electricity. This involves investing in low carbon and renewable generation, developing a smart network capable of supporting the further electrification of society and empowering customers to take more control over their energy use.
ESB’s Generation Tomorrow programme supports the work of a number of partners including ESB Science Blast. The Generation Tomorrow programme aims to help young people develop scientific literacy and critical thinking skills through programmes that encourage curiosity and discovery, helping them not only to become creative and innovative problem solvers, but also active and engaged citizens, capable of making informed choices to tackle climate change and other global challenges
ESB Science Blast is a STEM educational programme developed and delivered by the RDS. It is funded by the RDS, ESB as title sponsor, the Department of Education, the Naughton Foundation, Irish American Partnership, Jones Engineering, Pulsar, Irish Aid, Bristol Myers Squibb and Foras na Gaeilge.