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Academics launch new Irish Association for Primary Science Education

A group of academics throughout the island of Ireland have collaborated to launch the Irish Association for Primary Science Education (IAPSE), to promote the teaching and learning of science in primary schools.

The academics are from Queen’s, St. Mary’s University College Belfast, Stranmillis University College, Dublin City University (DCU), NUI Maynooth, Marino Institute of Education, Mary Immaculate College, and Trinity College Dublin.

The group launched at an event entitled: ‘Combating Climate Change: Irish Primary Schools’, which was held at Dublin City University’s Institute of Education during Science Week (10 – 17 November). The IAPSE was officially launched Mr Tomás Ó Ruairc, Director of the Teaching Council of Ireland and Professor Pádraig Ó Duibhir, Deputy Dean, Institute of Education at DCU. 

Speaking at the launch event, Professor Ó Duibhir said: “The more we learn about climate change, the more we realise the complexity of the issue which underlines the importance of an understanding of science and science literacy for all students starting in early childhood settings.”

The aim of the event was to inform, enable and empower adults working with children and young people in formal and informal education settings to take action and become climate change and sustainability champions.

Dr Karen Kerr, Lecturer in Education from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast and member of the IAPSE committee said: "I am delighted to be representing Queen's University on such an important committee. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues as we come together, Ireland wide, to help ensure rich learning environments for our scientists of the future.

“The launch event which focussed on climate change is timely and has been fascinating - our young people can teach us all a thing or two about taking action. Through my research on outdoor learning I have seen first-hand the commitment of our young scientists to tackling climate change head on."

Dr Cliona Murphy, from the School of Stem Education Innovation and Global Studies at DCU, said: “The launch of IAPSE represents a very significant time in the history of Primary Science in Ireland as this collaboration will enable science educators and other stakeholders in primary science to work collectively towards ensuring that young people throughout Ireland experience a rich and meaningful science education as they progress through primary schools.

“Through IAPSE we aim to ensure that primary science education will support our young people in developing the requisite, scientific knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to make sense of the world in which they live.”

For more information on the IAPSE, please visit Facebook and Twitter.