Teachers Summer Course in Kilkenny: Bringing STEM alive in the classroom through Drama 2019 1 - 5 Jul 2019

We are excited to present a new five day arts-science summer course led by scientist and theatre-maker Dr. Niamh Shaw, aimed at primary teachers of 1st-3rd classes.

This is a five day Department of Education and Skills and EPV-approved summer course for teachers.

Discover STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) anew through a range of enjoyable and accessible creative drama processes designed to lift these subjects off the page and bring them to life for both teachers and students.

The course is created and led by the inspiring Dr Niamh Shaw - an engineer, former science academic and a theatre maker as well as one of Ireland’s leading science communicators and STEAM specialists. Niamh’s scientific knowledge and warm engaging style will help you in finding exciting new ways of communicating science themes to your students.

This practical hands-on course will improve your confidence in teaching STEM subjects as well as Drama and how to meaningfully link and integrate these in the classroom. A range of relevant STEM curricular areas will be explored through Drama including Mathematics, Geography, and of course Science.

The course is aimed at teachers of all levels of STEM and drama knowledge and experience.The course content and aims include:

  • Enhancing your confidence across a range of STEM curricular areas using highly participative and accessible creative drama methodologies.
  • Engaging and highly active course content delivered by an outstanding artist-scientist facilitator with unique expertise in both STEM and theatre-making/drama.
  • STEM areas which will be explored during the course include distance, time and heat across the subjects of mathematics, geography (planets and solar system) and science curricula (heat, gravity).
  • Teachers will build a tool kit of accessible and exciting new ideas and approaches to teaching both STEM and the drama curriculum using an integrated cross-curricular approach to planning and delivery.
  • Irish science history and heritage will also be explored relating course content to local and national science heroes to help teachers and their students connect to the subject matter and will inform some of the drama narratives developed during the course. Leading Irish scientists and engineers including Robert Boyle, Kathleen Lonsdale, Ernest Walton, William Hamilton and others will be reviewed.
  • The use of drama approaches will ensure the course also supports literacy and language development through devising performance and narratives for example stimulation of imaginative and creative language to create characters and scenes.
  • Participants will experience a range of practical creative methods that will develop their teaching in line with national priorities including STEM, numeracy and literacy.
  • The course will include time for teachers’ to reflect on individual, group and school performance in the areas of STEM and drama and devise creative ways to engage with the SSE 6 stage process.

The course will provide ample support material and a field trip to Science Gallery Dublin will present the teachers with an interdisciplinary approach to presenting STEM subjects.

About Niamh Shaw...

Dr Niamh Shaw is an Irish engineer, scientist and performer. She is passionate about igniting people’s curiosity and particularly interested in doing this by combining creativity with science topics. She presents the human story of science, creating theatre shows, public events and contributions to media with this focus. She has set herself a life’s mission to get to space, as artist and explorer. She hopes that by sharing the human story behind such a venture, it will help us better understand our place in the story of space, and the beauty of our planet Earth.

Recently voted one of Ireland’s leading science communicators and STEAM specialists (merging science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), her contribution to science and its application to Irish life was acknowledged by Uachtaráin na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins at his annual St Patricks Day reception in 2017 in Áras an Uachtaráin. She is artist in residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, Humanities co-chair at 2018 Space Studies Programme, and the Dublin point of contact for Ireland’s national Space week.

Niamh provides specialised communication workshops for researchers and academics. She collaborates with research and science institutions, arts & media centres, private corporations and NGO’s to attract new audiences of all ages to science and space. She contributes to BBC’s monthly Sky at Night astronomy magazine and writes a multimedia column aimed at adults to encourage new ways to engage with STEM, for the online journal Headstuff .

Niamh believes that we can be many things at the same time. She is curious, always and embraces failure every day.

She wants you to experience science- with feeling.