ONE of the biggest science events on the island of Ireland is coming to Belfast, bringing nearly 2,000 Key Stage 2 pupils together from all over Ulster to display their creative science investigations at the ICC Belfast (Waterfront Hall) on June 5 and 6, 2019.
Managed and delivered by the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and endorsed by CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment), this non-competitive education programme calls on primary school students from across the Province to harness their natural curiosity and register their involvement by Wednesday February 27.
Nurturing 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity – skills highlighted by the World Economic Forum – ESB Science Blast will make learning STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fun for both students and teachers, and will feature amazing science entertainment shows, tailor-made for a 7-12-year-old audience.
Open to all Key Stage 2 primary school classes, the objective is to encourage as many students as possible to think critically about the world around them and work together as a class, using scientific methods of discovery such as predicting, observing, measuring, etc., to investigate the puzzling, quirky or simply unknown… with typical investigations including: ‘How can we make the best slime?’, ‘Why does cake go hard but biscuits go soft?’, ‘Where do waves come from?’, and ‘Can I charge my mobile device with a fruit?’
All schools are then asked to bring their research to life by showcasing their findings away from the classroom amongst hundreds of their peers at the two-day event in the ICC Belfast.
Chief Executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy, said: “Participation in ESB Science Blast introduces young students to the four Cs of STEM education: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication – all vital 21st century skills for the next generation.
“Studies have shown that early positive experience of STEM can have a lasting impact, which is what we hope to bring about with the thousands of students that participate this year. We have found that the timing of the Belfast showcase event is particularly suited to P7 classes who already have their exams behind them, but any class that gets involved will really benefit and we would encourage as many as possible to register by our closing date of February 27.”
Every participating school will receive £75 towards their travel costs.
Teachers can use the ESB Science Blast Investigation Framework to help structure class investigations. This Framework aligns with the objectives of the primary curriculum and supports delivery of World Around Us requirements.
Schools can find out more information and register for their place at www.esbscienceblast.com.
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said: “At ESB, we believe in empowering young people today to become the problem solvers of tomorrow to help tackle climate change and other global challenges. Through our Generation Tomorrow programme, we are committed to supporting events such as the ESB Science Blast in encouraging creative thinking, collaboration and critical thinking. This is a great opportunity for classes to investigate the world of science around us and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their work at the showcase event in Belfast in June.”
Up to 10,000 primary school students and their STEM projects will be involved across three ESB Science Blast showcase events this year in Belfast, Dublin and Limerick. With an underlying ethos of encouragement through whole-class participation, the constructive feedback received from judges who work across science, education and STEM industries will also give students the opportunity to engage with STEM professionals.
Schools can also keep in touch with the event via Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.