May 05 2020 Posted: 13:00 IST

CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, are now offering co-teaching support for primary school teachers in STEM.

Primary school resources from CÚRAM’s highly successful Teachers in Residence programme have been adapted to support teachers delivering STEM education online over the coming months. These lesson plan kits have been developed by primary school teachers, in collaboration with CÚRAM researchers. They are suitable for fifth and sixth class students and link with the primary science curriculum.

Five comprehensive lesson plan presentations, recorded by CÚRAM’s Teachers in Residence programme manager Dr Sarah Gundy, are now available. These presentations are supplemented by downloadable lesson plans. Dr Gundy, together with CÚRAM’s researchers are also offering primary school classes their very own ‘Ask a Scientist’ session in collaboration with their teachers either via email or as part of an online session.

Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM commented, “We are very conscious of the difficulties faced by parents and teachers trying to continue to deliver quality content in a completely new format. We would like to offer these ready to use resources that deal with a very relevant and topical area of research to support the huge efforts being made by parents and teachers in a very challenging time.”ctivities for younger audiences to engage with STEM at home.

For latest updates and links you can follow us on Twitter @CURAMdevices

Pre-recorded lesson plan presentations include:

  • Healing the Heart: Learn basic heart anatomy, how a heart attack occurs and how to keep their hearts healthy. Follow up activities include construct a large diagram of the heart which can used to play “Heart Twister” at home!
  • Mending the Musculoskeletal System: Learn about bones, muscles, and tendons, and how doctors currently treat damage to these tissues. Follow up activities show how to construct a model hand and act as a surgeon to fix a tendon using a Biomedical Engineering Kit from material you have at home.
  • Fixing the Brain: Learn how nerves send and receive messages, and the causes of Parkinson’s disease. Students can build their own medical devices to treat Parkinson’s disease and test the devices by making jelly “brains” at home.
  • Exploring Stem Cells: Learn about how stem cells are used by animals to heal their bodies. Students build model animals using cells made from playdough, and fix their injured animals by using playdough stem cells or building prosthetic devices.
  • What are Biomaterials?: Learn about medical devices, and natural and synthetic sources of biomaterials. Students can make their own biomaterials at home (using slime!) to fix soft tissues.

To register your interest in the resources, or to simply book an ‘Ask a Scientist’ session for your class, please contact sarah.gundy@nuigalway.ie. 

In addition to teaching resources, CÚRAM has also added ‘Bite-Sized Science’ activities to our website. Bite-Sized Science offers quick, uncomplicated science activities for teachers or parents to share with children at home.

 The focus of this resource is on generating excitement for science without asking too much of already time-pressured parents. Each activity can be completed with just a small bit of help for younger children (JI-2nd class) and independently for older children (3rd-6th class).

 Care is being taken to select engaging activities that can be completed with the simplest of ingredients and materials, using everyday items found in most homes, and plenty of recyclables. Look out for new activities every Tuesday and Thursday over the coming months. Should kids take an especially keen interest, links will be provided that allow them to delve a little deeper into the science behind the experiment. See www. http://www.curamdevices.ie/curam/public-engagement/artists-in-residence/bite-sizedscience/

ENDS

About CÚRAM

CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway has created unique, synergistic networks across academic, industry and clinical institutions since its establishment in 2015, bringing together a comprehensive set of tools, expertise and perspectives to progress medical device research and its clinical application in each of our disease target areas. Our goal is to improve quality of life for people living with chronic illness.

CÚRAM’s response to the COVID-19 crisis to date has been to help coordinate this network in support of the HSE, our MedTech industry partners and our talented Funded Investigators, to add to the global effort to fight the virus.

CÚRAM’s public engagement programme is also adapting in the short term given the requirement for social distancing, and will be moving many of our public engagement interactions to virtual platforms where possible. Some of our content has been supplied to RTÉ for the excellent ‘School at Home’ initiative and a new ‘Bite Sized Science’ has been launched on our website in addition to the ‘Home School Resources’ page to provide simple, educational and fun activities for younger audiences to engage with STEM at home.

For latest updates and links you can follow us on Twitter @CÚRAMdevices and our website www.curamdevices.ie.

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