Who are we?
Cell EXPLORERS is a science education and outreach program based in the School of Natural Sciences in the National University of Ireland Galway. It aims to introduce children and their families to the concepts of molecular and cellular biology.
The aim of Cell EXPLORERS is to promote hands-on discovery of molecular and cellular biology by developing interactive outreach activities. Such activities include school roadshows; in which students perform simple biology experiments in their own classroom and science festival workshops; where children and their families can perform a range of activities to do with the cell. See the activities section for more details on what we do. Through Cell EXPLORERS, school children, their teachers, their parents and the general public are being introduced to how living things work, and the research that the University performs, in a fun, interactive way.
The Cell EXPLORERS team is made up of around 100 undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff from the School of Natural Sciences. These University students and scientists volunteer their time to educate and inspire the next generation of budding scientists and to inform the public about what kind of research takes place in NUI Galway. In this way the children we interact with are inspired by these young scientist role models whilst the students themselves gain valuable science communication skills.
Impacting on education
One of the central objectives of Cell EXPLORERS is to positively impact on science education in Ireland at all levels. The programme has facilitated the integration of science outreach into the undergraduate science currilculum. Students now have an option to do a science outreach project in which they desgin outreach activities for children or the general public. Furthermore, in a collaboration with the School of Education, a continous professional development course is currently under development to train teachers in how to engage classes in the life sciences.
Cell EXPLORERS began in 2011 as a pilot outreach project with funding from the NUIGalway EXPLORE initiative. Subsequent funding was received from The Royal Dublin Society and from the Biochemical Society. Last year Cell EXPLORERS received funding from Science Foundation Ireland's Discover Science and Engineering Awards and from the Wellcome Trust in the UK. Cell EXPLORERS receives continued support from the School of Natural Sciences and from the Centre for Chromosome Biology.
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Friends of Cell EXPLORERS
A national video competition for primary and secondary school students.
An NUIG outreach programme that offers training sessions in the fields of ecology and biology to Primary and Secondary students across the West of Ireland.
Dr. Hows Science Wows
Dr. Naomi Lavelle engages young children in science through fun & interactive experiences
Galway Science and Technology Festival
The Festival runs for 2 weeks in November each year during which Cell EXPLORERS runs roadshows and workshops.
Centre for Chromosome Biology
NUIGalway research group that studies chromosomes and links to disease.