Lifetime Lab "MathsWorks" receives Science Foundation Ireland Funding
MathsWorks, Lifetime Lab's maths outreach initiative is among 41 projects to receive funding to improve public understanding of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) nationally through Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme announced by Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD. The funding has been awarded to a range of projects dedicated to educating and engaging the public in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The funding will facilitate the development of additional resources and expand the range of on hands on activities currently available, during 2017 MathsWorks Mobile visited 50 Cork Primary schools, providing workshops to close to 6,000 primary school children and also participating in numerious public engagements events, family open days and science festivals throughout the country. The promotion of STEM subjects is viewed as crucial to the economic development of the greater Cork area and the allocation of funding reinforces the postion of Lifetime Lab as a leader in the delivery of hands on, inquiry based, STEM engagement experiences in the region.
Speaking at the launch of the SFI Discover Awards, Minister Halligan said: “I greatly support the significant efforts being made by Science Foundation Ireland to generate enthusiasm for STEM within the Irish public. The 41 initiatives being funded through this year’s SFI Discover programme will stimulate important public conversations around scientific research, and will highlight the individual, societal and economic value of encouraging more people in Ireland to explore science-related careers. By shining a light on Ireland as a hub for excellent research that is far-reaching and inclusive, these projects will pave the way for our country’s innovative future.”
The investment reflects Science Foundation Ireland’s mission to foster the most engaged and scientifically-informed public. Part of the remit of the Foundation, through its SFI Discover Programme, is to achieve this goal by inspiring and guiding the best in STEM education and public engagement. 41 diverse initiatives will be supported by this year’s programme; 11 of which have been awarded funding for two years. This year’s call received over 80 applications from which successful awardees were carefully selected through international peer-review.
Speaking about the Programme, Director of Innovation, Communications & Education for Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Ruth Freeman, said: “The SFI Discover Programme encourages people from all backgrounds to learn about STEM and become involved in the exciting scientific research taking place across Ireland and the world. Discoveries from this research will create solutions to our most pressing challenges, and leave a lasting impact on the world. It is important that the public are informed about these discoveries, and can engage with the researchers who are creating new knowledge and technologies. SFI Discover harnesses the creativity of diverse engagement initiatives to motivate people to explore STEM in novel ways, and through this we will inspire our future scientists, engineers and innovators. We look forward to working with these exciting projects.”
Science Foundation Ireland has invested in over 200 public engagement projects through the Discover Programme since 2013. This year’s funded initiatives are estimated to reach over two million people.