Cell EXPLORERS GMIT
The Cell EXPLORERS GMIT team is delivering Fantastic DNA in a Box science visits to schools in Galway remotely online
The Cell EXPLORERS GMIT team was established in May 2019. The team is based in the department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science at GMIT. It was developed through collaboration with Dr. Anthonia O' Donovan and Dr Karen Finn. You can learn more about the department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science here.
The team successfully brought Fantastic DNA in a Box visits remotely to schools around Galway in association with Science week 2021. In 2022 the team may continue to deliver visits remotely, or look into returning to some form of in-person visits, depending on public health advice regarding COVID-19 restrictions at the time.
The Cell EXPLORERS GMIT Team is made up of enthusiastic undergraduate and post graduate students as well as staff from the Department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science. The team is coordinated by Dr Anthonia O'Donovan and Dr Karen Finn of the Department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science.
Their team, pictured right, have a passion for communicating their love of science to young children and are excited by the opportunity to interact with primary schools around Galway. Read how the CE GMIT interns got on during Science Week 2021!
Cell EXPLORERS GMIT team 2019
Dr. Anthonia O'Donovan
Cell Explorers GMIT Coordinator
Department of Bio-pharmaceutical and Medical Science
Anthonia is an academic member of the Department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science in GMIT, has a background in Biochemistry, and lectures primarily in Cell Biology & Genetics. Anthonia is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway, where she obtained both her BSc (Hons.) degree and her PhD in Biochemistry. Anthonia also has a keen interest in and is involved in research in the areas of Fungal Biology and the search of secondary metabolites and enzymes with applications in the biofuel and biopharmaceutical industries.
Through Cell Explorers, Anthonia is delighted to have the opportunity to meet young students during school visits where she is continually impressed by the interest and enthusiasm the students have for learning in the field of Science.
Dr. Karen Finn
Cell explorers GMIT Coordinator
Department of Bio-Pharmaceutical and Medical Science
Karen is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Biopharmaceutical and Medical Science, GMIT, where her teaching primarily focuses on biochemistry- and molecular biology-based modules. Karen is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway, where she obtained her BSc (Hons.) degree in Biomedical Science and PhD in Biochemistry. Following this, she was awarded a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases in the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK. Karen’s research interests mainly focus on elucidating how perturbations in cell signalling pathways contribute to the pathogenesis of disease and the identification of novel biomarkers to predict disease outcome. Karen also has a keen interest in scientific outreach and is excited about encouraging the next generation of scientists through her Cell EXPLORERS activities.
CE GMIT 2021 interns
In 2021/22, CE volunteers have the opportunity to act as CE interns and take on more responsibilities and assist in the coordination of the team.
Meet Hannah, Áine and Ryan - who were CE GMIT interns in November 2021, and assisted coordinators Karen and Toni to organise and facilitate their visits for Science Week 2021. Read more about their experience by sliding across below!
What have the GMIT team 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 GMIT facilitated 2 Fantastic DNA in a Box sessions with 2 schools in association with 2021 Science Week. This gave an amazing 58 children the opportunity to extract DNA from bananas and to gain a glimpse into the life of a molecular biologist.
When was the first GMIT team visit?
The first GMIT Cell EXPLORERS school visit took place in May 2019 as a training visit with the coordinators from the NUI Galway team. The team visited 5 schools in 2019, introducing Fantastic DNA to 227 children.
In 2020, GMT switched to the remotely-delivered Fantastic DNA in a Box activity, and engaged 4 schools, directly reaching 111 children.
GMIT team will continue to visit schools in 2022. If you would like Cell EXPLORERS GMIT to bring Fantastic DNA to your school contact the team by email.
CE GMIT Fantastic DNA in a Box vistis 2021
Delivering FDIAB visits remotely in 2020
Training School visits by the GMIT team in 2019
What do teachers & pupils say?
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.
Read the feedback infographic from 2020 by clicking here.
Image gallery of FDNA roadshow by GMIT Team
Fantastic DNA session
Fantastic DNA session
Fantastic DNA session
Images are from 2019