We piloted our new Science Club for Youth Groups
At Cell EXPLORERS, we have always believed that Science is for Everyone. Recently we have focused our efforts to widen participation of young people in science. Towards this, earlier this year we developed a new Science Club specifically to work with youth groups. The design and development of this led by National Coordinator Dr Sarah Carroll, based in our University of Galway team.
To contribute towards informing the design of the Science Club, Cell EXPLORERS participated in the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) pilot project 'Working with youth work organisations for equity and inclusion in STEAM` 2021/22'.
Collaboration is at the heart of the Science Club
This science club comprises five 1.5hr weekly sessions, hosted at local youth groups, where young people engage in a series of hands-on STEM activities. Young people are guided in their discovery by local Cell EXPLORERS scientist explainers. Collaboration is at the heart of this science club, and young people are the drivers of their own STEM engagement as they choose which activities to complete and participate in peer-learning and teamwork.
The activities are lent to us by collaborators and friends the Vienna University Childrens' Office (Kinderburo).
Young people also have the opportunity to learn more about what it means to be a scientist, with structured discussions with the scientist explainers. On the last day of the Science Club, young people reflect on their experiences and create a poster about themselves, the scientists they met, and their favourite activity.
Our pilot with Foróige youth group in Doughiska
We ran the first pilot of the CE Science Club in July 2021, in collaboration with Foróige youth group in Doughiska. Ten young people completed the different days of the 5-week programme, engaged with the hands-on science activities, and reflected on their experience during the poster day. We thank these young people for doing this Science Club with us – it was very helpful to learn how to improve it!
You can see some of the young peoples’ wonderful posters in the photo gallery on our Science Club webpage.
The future of the Science Club
We will be disseminating the Science Club as part of our GROWS project - 'Giving Real Opportunities to Widen Participation in STEM', led by project manager Dr Kristin Anderson. The Science Club will first be delivered to youth groups around Galway city for October-December 2022, we plans to deliver in some locations nationally by the end of 2023.
About our funders
The Youth Group Science Club has been developed and piloted with funding from Science Foundation Ireland. Its dissemination to youth groups is part of the Cell EXPLORERS GROWS project - 'Giving Real Opportunities to Widen Participation in STEM'. The GROWS project is supported by the US Medtronic STEM foundation.