Module title: Science Education and Outreach final year research projects – Biochemistry
Module code: sub-category of projects offered in the BI453 module Biochemistry Research Project.
Programme: offered by Biochemistry to BSc in Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Biomedical sciences. 10 project students  hosted (approximatively 10% of the BI453 students)
Project coordinators: Dr Muriel Grenon & Dr Sarah Carroll
Community partners (past and present): Galway Educate Together National School, Scoil Iognáid, Renmore Senior National School, St. Joseph Patrician College, Colaiste Einde, Galway Education Centre, CURAM SFI Centre, National Virus Reference laboratory, National Biodiversity Data Centre.
Funders: Wellcome trust (original development of project format, in collaboration with Dr Claire Concannon), NUIGalway Biochemistry and School of Natural Sciences & School of Biological and Chemical Sciences,  Science Foundation Ireland.

Project Description

The Science Education and Outreach final year research projects give an opportunity for students to participate in science communication, outreach and/or education. The projects are linked to the Cell Explorers outreach progress to address real public engagement needs or answer related education research questions.

 Students can choose one of two types of project:

  • To design, pilot and evaluate novel activities that can be used to engage members of the public in science. The pilot and evaluation phases are run within the school community involving children and teachers.
  • To address research questions that are directly relevant to the activity Cell Explorers programme and studied within the “informal science education” research group link to the programme.

The projects are to be completed individually but contain a substantial amount of collaboration and group work. The 8 weeks project is structured in a way that maximises involvement with community partners and support the students in delivering on the project objectives.

Biochemistry project timeline - community involvement, project milestones, teaching module tools

Student Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of scientific outreach in society
  • Deliver a science outreach event
  • Design educational resources or an education research strategy
  • Engage in analysing data sets to evaluate an outreach activity or answer educational research questions
  • Producen written and oral research reports
  • Assess (criticize constructively good and bad elements of) a science outreach session
  • Participate in discussions with peers and work as a team by asking questions/comments on topics relating to all projecst (analysing datasets/creating education resources
  • Communicate and co-ordinate with all interested parties
  • Develop self-reflective skills

Community Outcomes

  • Inform, inspire and involve the general public in science and technology
  • Target the complete diversity of pupils so that all can experience real science
  • Use and promote novel interactive and hands-on approaches to science education
  • Provide role models of real people involved in science by bringing undergraduate in classrooms
  • Provide resources and support to primary and secondary school teachers

Societal Outcomes

  • Inform, inspire and involve the general public in science and technology
  • Allow students to experience science communication
  • Train the next generation of science ambassadors and communicators
  • Offer opportunities for researchers to disseminate their expertise in the community
  • Provide role models of real people involved in science by bringing undergraduate in classrooms
  • Improve practices in public engagement to maximise impact and inform practitioners and policy makers

Learn more about the projects

Research communications about these projects

  • 7th International Symposium on Service-Learning, NUI Galway June 14-16 2017

-M. Grenon & C. Concannon, “the double benefits of university final year education science outreach projects” Poster symposium

  • SCANZ conference 2017 (the Science Communicators Association of NZ), New Zealand 2017

-M. Grenon & C. Concannon, “The double benefits of university final year education science outreach projects”. Poster symposium

  • CURAM teacher in residence programme opening evening, NUI Galway October 2016.

M. Grenon & C. Concannon, “The Cell EXPLORERS programme and creation of educational resources for outreach classroom interventions”. Invited Oral presentation

  • The 14th Annual Galway Symposium on higher educationTheory and Practice: Researching Teaching and Learning in Higher Education June 2016.

-C. Concannon & M. Grenon“Development and evaluation of education and outreach project structure for final year undergraduate science courses.” Oral presentation

  • 22nd March 2016: Campus Engage Participate Programme: University of Limerick Session. K. Burns, M. Grenon, K. Morris, B. Quillinan, D. Rice
  • 2nd Scientix conference, Brussels 24th-26th of October 2014.

-M. Grenon & C. Concannon, “The Cell EXPLORERS programme– A STEM outreach and engagement model connecting university and schools through science education” Abstract selected for Oral presentation.  Slides here:

  • The 12th Annual Galway Symposium on higher education: Explore, Discover, CreateJune 2014

-M. Grenon & C. Concannon. Cell EXPLORERS – piloting the integration of science outreach into the undergraduate science curriculum. Oral presentation.