News at DCU
Four projects promoting STEM engagement receive funding under Science Foundation Ireland awards
Four projects promoting STEM engagement receive funding under Science Foundation Ireland awards
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Four projects promoting STEM engagement receive funding under Science Foundation Ireland awards

Dublin City University has welcomed funding awards worth over €150,000 announced today (Thursday, February 14th) by Science Foundation Ireland to fund projects dedicated to educating and engaging the public in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Four DCU proposals have been successful under the SFI Discover Awards and today’s announcement includes a project creating an Irish Sign Language STEM glossary for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and the design of a mathematics toolkit to help teachers with the way in which maths is taught and how children think about the subject.

Welcoming the announcement the President of Dublin City University Professor Brian MacCraith said:

“Dublin City University’s strong commitment to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has been recognised in this latest round of awards. We are delighted to welcome funding for proposals which are dedicated to educating and engaging the public in these subjects.

In addition, we are particularly pleased to have been funded for projects targetted at engaging young females in STEM In addition, the establishment of an Irish Sign Language STEM Glossary is a fantastic development and will open up a new world of opportunities for children at primary and post-primary level.”

The list of the successful proposals are as follows:

Science on Stage (Funding of €15,200): Project lead: Dr. Eilish McLoughlin

Science on Stage is a European initiative designed to encourage teachers from across Europe to share best practice in science teaching. The primary aims of Science on Stage are to provide a forum for teachers to exchange teaching ideas for the sciences; inspire and enthuse science teachers and provide teachers with access to quality science teaching resources and ideas. The primary impact of this project will be on teachers of science - at both senior and junior cycle and at primary level. However, the extended impact of this project will be on the pupils and students in the science classrooms.

Let's talk about STEM: supports for girls' early science engagement (Funding of €49,130.50) Project Lead: Dr. Sinéad McNally

This project is a collaboration between STEM education and psychology to deliver a pilot programme to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM by targeting girls' early engagement with science. Drawing on twenty years of robust international research and initiatives, this project will deliver a STEM education programme for parents and educators of young children which highlights the potential impact of language on children’s perception of, and motivation to engage with science.

Mathematics Teaching Practices Toolkit: (Funding of €49,998.00) Project Lead: Dr. Siun Nic Mhuiri

The Mathematics Teaching Practices Toolkit will support teachers in implementing practices associated with effective mathematics teaching, in particular, the use of cognitively-challenging tasks and the promotion of math talk (children’s talk about their mathematical thinking). This website will provide both directly actionable resources such as lesson plans and a suite of other professional development resources which prompt teachers to analyse and reflect on mathematics teaching practices, and will act as a developmental toolkit for teachers’ reflection on effective mathematics teaching practices.

Irish Sign Language Glossary Project Phase 2: Environmental Science (Funding of €50,000.00) Project Lead: Dr. Elizabeth Mathews

For those Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) people to be fully engaged and scientifically informed, there must first be an agreed lexicon in Irish Sign Language for STEM terms. This initiative, aiming to promote and support STEM education for DHH learners, is building on a pilot project funded by SFI last year to remedy this problem. The pilot project (currently underway) concentrates on terms in maths and will create an open-access online ISL glossary of these terms. This year it will extend this glossary to include environment science.

Pictured (l-r) Dr Eilish McLoughlin, Dr Siun Nic Mhuiri, Dr Sinead McNally and Dr Elizabeth Mathews