Cell EXPLORERS Dundalk IT

Contact the Cell EXPLORERS Dundalk IT team and arrange a school visit | cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie re: CE Dundalk IT

The Cell EXPLORERS DkIT team is currently bringing the Fantastic DNA in a Box activity to primary schools around Dundalk.

Visits can take place during Spring 2022 and later on this autumn around the time of National Science Week in November 2022.

 

About 

 

The Cell EXPLORERS Dundalk Institute of Technology team was established in June 2016. This team is coordinated by Dr. Suzanne Linnane, Senior Lecturer in the Deparment of Applied Sciences in Dundalk IT. You can learn more about the institute here.

 

The team is actively involved in bringing the Fantastic DNA session to primary schools around Dundalk since 2016. Learn more about the past school visits of the team and the evaluation feedback they have received from schools in the infographic section.

 

The Team

 

The Cell EXPLORERS Dundalk IT team is made up of enthusiastic undergraduate students from Environmental, Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences courses in DkIT. The team is coordinated by Dr Caroline Gilleran and Dr Suzanne Linnane from the department of Applied Science. Their students, pictured on right with coordinator Dr. Suzanne Linnane have a passion for communicating their love of science to young children and are excited by the opportunity to interact with primary schools around Dundalk. 

Cell EXPLORERS DkIT team 2018

 
Dr. Caroline Gilleran
caroline.jpg

Lecturer in Biotechnology

Department of Applied Sciences

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Dr Caroline Gilleran Stephens joined Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) in 2006 as a Lecturer in Biotechnology.  Caroline’s research career began with the undertaking of a PhD in Biochemistry at NUI, Galway in 2000.  During which she designed, developed and patented a novel strategy for the utilization of carbohydrate rich waste.  Caroline was awarded an Intra-European Marie Curie training fellowship in 2004, which facilitated a 6-month training internship in fermentation technology at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Lund, Sweden.

 

In 2004, Caroline worked as an Environmental Scientist on the Shannon River Basin management project, Roscommon. In 2005, she returned to her interest in Biofuels and took up the position of Senior Scientific Advisor in Zenith Technologies Ltd. Ringaskiddy, Cork.  Caroline has been involved in the teaching and development of a number of postgraduate and undergraduate science  programmes and is currently Programme Director for the M.Sc. in Agricultural Biotechnology. Her strong interest in student centred-learning and enhancing the learning environment commenced an MA in Learning & Teaching at DkIT in 2017. In addition, Caroline is passionate about bringing science to schools and promotes STEM education through the science outreach programmes Cell Explorers and H2O Heroes. She is also actively  involved in Science Week, Scifest, World Water Monitoring Day and Pint of Science. 

Dr. Suzanne Linnane
SUzanne Linane.jpg

Senior Lecturer,

Department of Applied Sciences

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Suzanne currently holds Senior Lecturer post in the Department of Applied Sciences, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). On joining DkIT in 2004, she established the National Centre for Freshwater Studies (now the Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies (CFES)), the leading water institute in the IOTI sector and an internationally recognised research centre for which she has personally secured research funding in excess of €5 million. Prior to her appointment to DkIT, she held posts with Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Suzanne has been involved in community based research in Ireland, Europe and Africa where she has worked on multi-collaborative and trans-disciplinary water related projects involving multiple stakeholders. In addition, she has a wealth of experience in community based learning and public engagment. She is co-ordinator of the School of Health and Science’s Civic Engagment programme, a founding member of the DkIT volunteer society and is an active participant in National Science Week, Scifest, Africa Day, World Water Day and World Water Monitoring day. Suzanne has been involved in dissemnation of her school outreach programme ‘All about Water’ and the production of the popular ‘All about Water’ schoolbook, which is now being translated into 8 European languages.

 
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CE DkIT coordinator Suzanne & Caroline prepping reagents for FDIAB visits 2020

School Visits

What have DkIT have been up to lately?

Since 2020, to continue to deliver hands-on engagement to schools whilst adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, Cell EXPLORERS created Fantastic DNA in a Box : a remote adaptation of our Fantastic DNA session. This science kit provides teachers with all the materials and resources to introduce their pupils to living things, cells & DNA, whilst getting the opportunity to complete a DNA extraction experiment.

 

In 2021, the DkIT team were able to provide 22 boxes to 13 schools. This gave an amazing 670 children the opportunity to extract DNA from bananas and to gain a glimpse into the life of a molecular biologist.

When was their first visit? 

The DkIT team had it's first school visit in 2016 - where they visited two 6th classes in St. Oliver Plunkett's National School, Blackrock as part of training with the NUI Galway team coordinators. The team then hosted 5 national schools in October/November 2016.

Since then, the team has been active in Dundalk and the surrounding counties bringing the Fantastic DNA Roadshow to primary schools of the area and hosting classes in the DkIT labs. Following on from their first visit, DkIT continued to engage schools locally each year:

  • 2017 & 2018: Hosted 7 schools on campus each year, including for Science Week

  • 2019: Hosted 10 schools with 494 amazing children

  • 2020: Delivered 10 Fantastic DNA in a Box science kits to 6 schools, engaging 294 children

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DkIT engaged schools 2021
 

All participating pupils & teachers have a chance to provide us with feedback on their experience. This helps us to evaluate the quality and impact of our visits!

A summary infographic is generated for each team every year. It shows the metrics of the team activity, highlighting children's and teacher's experiences by summarising their feedback and includes pictures from school visits.

Click on the links to the right to discover more about the DkIT team visits over the past years.

Infographic reports: 

See what teachers & pupils have to say! 

DkIT infographics highlights 2020.png

2017

2016

Fantastic DNA at Science Week on the DkIT campus 2018

Science Week 2017
Science Week 2017

Fantastic DNA worshop

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Science Week 2017
Science Week 2017

with DNA model

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Science Week 2017
Science Week 2017

Fantastic DNA worshop

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