An exploration box!
In January 2019, the following education centres will be distributing the box: Galway, Donegal, Dublin West, Wexford, Monaghan, Navan, Tralee and Clare.
What is Spikey's Journey? It is a new science toolkit designed to teach children about environmental science is to be distributed to 300 classrooms throughout Ireland from January 2019. Using the hedgehog as the principal character, the toolkit takes First and Second Class pupils on an explorative journey using storytelling, hands-on activities and games to learn about four key topics in environmental science. The primary aim of the toolkit is to promote active learning based on observation and experimentation.
NUIGalway Press release here. Pictures by Aengus McMahon Photography.
How does it work?
The class projects material are freely available online at bit.ly/Spikeysjourney.
Using the hedgehog as the principal character, the toolkit takes First, Second or Third Class pupils on an explorative journey using storytelling, hands-on activities and games to learn about four key topics in environmental science. The primary aim of the toolkit is to promote active learning based on observation and experimentation. The exploration box contains a “Kamishibai” a story telling theatre that teachers can use to enhance the story telling and take their class through the story of Spikey. The story follows the seasons of the year and is punctuated by class projects on the topic of living things, biological processes of animal, habitat and shelter and protection of the environment.
Who made it?
Launched during Science week 2018 at Scoil Iosef Naofa, Oranmore, the free educational toolkit “Spikey’s journey: an exploration box” is the culmination of In Edu, a two year-long European project developed in Ireland by NUI Galway Cell EXPLORERS, Toodlelou Creativity Lab and ProActivate Ireland. The toolkit has been produced in three languages for dissemination in each project country. The content of the exploration box and its activities were reviewed and piloted in Galway by 1st and 2nd Class teachers Ronan Dunne from Galway Educate Together, Vivienne Kelly from Knocknacara Educate Together, Anna McGuire from Mercy Primary School and Niamh Cormican from Scoil Iosef Naofa, Oranmore.
How do you get a box?
"Spikey's journey" boxes will be distributed to requesting teachers by the following Education Centres: Galway, Donegal, Dublin West, Wexford, Monaghan, Navan, Tralee and Clare, from January 2019. The network of Cell EXPLORERS partner teams will also distribute boxes to some of the schools they visit. There is a limited number boxes available for distribution. A maximum of one box will be sent per school requesting it. However, the box is not essential to engage in Spikey's journey. See below how to get started with the journey without a box.
How to use Spikey's Journey Exploration activities without the physical box?
You can still use the toolkit as all educational material is available online, including The Story of Spikey's journey at bit.ly/Spikeysjourney. The box only contains the kamishibai, which enhances the story telling aspect of Spikey's journey and a guide for teacher.
To get started with using Spikey's Journey without the physical box, teachers should:
- download the Guide for Teacher here . It describes what the box is about.
- download the educational material on bit.ly/Spikeysjourney
- download the illustrations of Spikey's Journey to support the story telling of Spikey.
Share your experience
Teachers who use the toolkit in their classroom can share their feedback and comments through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #spikeysjourney and tagging @cellexplorers and @toodleloukids.
Use for the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science and Maths award:
Schools who wish to use the toolkit as part of their application for a Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science & Maths (DPSM) Award can provide images and feedback by social media, which will be posted to this page. This link (https://www.cellexplorers.com/spikeysjourney) can then be used as a Logs of Evidencefor the award application.
About Toodlelou Creativity Lab
Toodlelou Creativity Lab is a creative exploration studio for young people located in Oranmore, Galway. At its heart, the Lab is designed to inspire. Through a range of classes and workshops, the Lab strive to create an environment ripe with opportunity for exploring and experimenting with art and science concepts. The Toodlelou Creativity Lab Team feels strongly that learning with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math gives kids the power to do almost anything they can dream up.
Toodlelou has been delivering STEAM workshops in the West of Ireland since 2013. The Lab was opened in Spring 2017, since that time has worked with over 3,500 young people.
ProActivate Ireland:Galway-based non-profit NGO that participates in projects, mainly at an EU level, in the field of education, unemployment activation, youth, and language learning. They work towards modernizing our educational systems as a foundational requirement to better engaging youth and preventing future unemployment through a focus on holistic education, ICT learning, and increasing participation and access to lifelong learning.
The InEdu Project aims to promote active learning based on observation, experimentation and the scientific method and develop teaching methods and tools to support primary school teachers prepare and conduct more fascinating lessons that will stimulate children’s natural curiosity. To achieve this, the project will invite teachers and science educators to exchange best practice so that they can develop their skills and will create innovative lesson kits based on the experience gained during the project. The project involves 4 partners: University of Bedfordshire- , Children’s University Foundation, Vienna University Children’s Office ,ProActivate Ireland and two associated Irish Partners: Cell EXPLORERSNUI Galway– and Toodlelou Creativity Lab.