Full STEAM Ahead! University hosts exhibition of STEAM projects from youth development programmes

Sophie Smith and Sunza Bradish from Gort Youth Project UBU Foróige learning stop motion animation from Biomedical Science students Emmajane Moran and Éabha McInerney at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE STEAM Showcase 2024 in University of Galway.Credit - Aengus McMahon
Apr 09 2024 Posted: 09:33 IST

ReelLIFE SCIENCE public engagement programme hosts showcase of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) from Foróige youth groups in Galway City, Gort, Ballyhaunis, Ballaghaderreen and Athlone

From dancing robots to dancing rappers, the next generation of scientists, engineers and filmmakers have taken part in University of Galway’s inaugural ReelLIFE SCIENCE STEAM Showcase.

More than 100 young science enthusiasts, aged from 10 and 18, exhibited their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) projects developed in 10 Foróige youth services and youth development programmes in Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Westmeath.

  • Young people from Eastside Youth Service in Ballybane demonstrated chemical reactions via exploding volcanoes
  • Ballyhaunis Targeted Youth Service Programme youth members built and coded a dancing robot using Lego Education Spike kits
  • On the big screen, Gort Youth Project presented a time-lapse of their street art mural project
  • Galway City Youth Project members debuted a short film about science and nature and a drama entitled The Things I Could Have Said.
  • The Foróige Roscommon rap group The Roma Boys’ music video Yeshua was also well received by the audience

A gallery of images is available at ReelLIFE Science

The STEAM Showcase was funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme and is a joint initiative between ReelLIFE SCIENCE and Foróige.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at SFI, said: “SFI would like to congratulate all of the participants of the ReelLIFE SCIENCE and Foróige STEAM Showcase. STEAM initiatives are vital for broadening participation in science and technology, promoting greater engagement with and understanding of STEM topics and to break down STEM stereotypes and misconceptions. Learning to communicate STEM is a vital skill that will stand to all of the participants going forward.”

Speaking at the event, Foróige Digital Youth Work Coordinator, Megan Depinna, said: “As we celebrate the young people’s work, fusing science and creativity, we are reminded of the boundless possibilities that emerge when we combine knowledge with imagination. The projects showcased are not just demonstrations of STEM knowledge; they are displays of curiosity, determination, and imagination.”

Foróige’s Digital Youth Work Strategic Plan aims to ensure that all young people develop the key digital skills, values and competencies necessary to excel in the digital era by design and not simply by chance.

The University of Galway ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland to engage with science and technology while developing the communication and digital skills so important for the 21st century.

Attendees at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society took part in activities run by Foróige’s Digital Youth Work Team, including GO Build, GO Virtual, GO LevelUP, GO Safely and GO Sonic as well as ReelLIFE SCIENCE stop-motion animation workshops run by College of Science and Engineering students.

Since 2013, more than 26,000 young people, supported by teachers and youth workers in 750 schools and youth groups, have taken part in the ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition.

More information about this year’s competition, which closes for entries on October 11, can be found at www.reellifescience.com


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