Let’s Talk Science 2017: Building Careers in STEM

Global Action Plan Ireland (GAP) & The Rediscovery Centre came together for Science Week 2017 to co-host the Let’s Talk Science Festival (LTS) held over two days on the 13th and 14th of November. LTS, now in its third year, is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and allows students to explore various science activities. All activities focus on possible careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths). This year, the Ballymun community came out in full force! 268 students and their families attended the festival throughout both days.

Let’s Talk Science has fast become an annual flagship event for local schools. Consequently, the festival brings together students of all ages with their families to celebrate all things science!

Vanessa Moore, our CEO, believes “careers in STEM are the cornerstone to creating a more sustainable future for us all. GAP looks forward to the festival every year as it helps to showcase the wonders and diversity of science careers.”

Fun with STEM

Experiments were centered on the fields of biology, chemistry, and engineering, making sure that they were as enjoyable as possible. For art lovers, there was even sand art. As a result, they were able to turn colourful sand into wonderful works of art; some even created great signatures!

There was a major focus on engineering with two activities dedicated to the subject: K’nex Engineering & Flood Defences. Those who took part in the K’nex activities built the tallest and sturdiest structures. Finally, we tested the structures with toy figurines to see if they could hold elephants!

Sarah Clear from The Rediscovery Centre believes there’s great value in hosting a science festival in the local community: “It is a fantastic opportunity for us to make science and STEM accessible in an informal manner to the public. Through wide-ranging hands-on STEM challenges at the festival, we make science fun and engaging for everyone.”

Parents also joined in on the fun during the public event on the 14th. They all agreed that the Let’s Talk Science Festival both helped their children learn new things and enjoy themselves.

Just as parents loved it, teachers did too! Naomi Britton, a 4th class teacher from Glasnevin Education Together National School commented that the LTS Festival included “great hands-on activities combined with excellent opportunities for problem-solving, discussion, and teamwork.”

All in a Day’s Experiment

The most popular experiment was by far Acids and Bases. Participants spent about a half hour mixing together ‘chemicals’ like coffee grinds or washing up liquid to form crazy reactions! These reactions introduced students to the pH levels of the world around us. Kids also enjoyed the Flood Defences activity. For this one, students built defences with materials given. One of them lasted a record of almost 5 minutes after the simulated flood began!

Science festivals such as Let’s Talk Science are critical to every community. As a result, these festivals engage students with the growing field of STEM careers; a critical part of our growing society. Let’s Talk Science ensures that students aren’t just educated about STEM, but they enjoy it as well. In short, it is an honour to co-host this annual festival for its third year. We look forward to next year’s festival and hope to see you there!