Researchers team up with children to co-produce Science Apprentice booksTuesday, 30 October, 2018
What kinds of superpowers do our bodies naturally have? How do we make sense of the world? What’s in the air we breathe, and how are the things around us made?
The latest Science Apprentice series of books for primary school children is on the case, figuring out the answers through hands-on workshops and augmented reality and by asking researchers in Ireland who are themselves exploring these intriguing topics. Free to collect with the Irish Independent in SuperValu stores every Saturday in November, the Science Apprentice books will encourage children and adults alike to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics of the world around us.
The books are produced by the Public Engagement Team at UCD Research along with academics from UCD School of Education and UCD Computer Science and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and the Environmental Protection Agency.
This series has been co-produced by schoolchildren around the country through interactive workshops and discovery tours.
And involved at every stage of the books was the nine-person Wonder Panel. This group of primary school age advisors worked with the Science Apprentice team to form questions and answers that make the books invaluable to Irish schoolchildren.
In the illustrated books – all featuring augmented reality technology – characters Phil and Izzy explore the world around them with the help of their pets Rover and Schödinger.
The book Superbodies looks at how our bodies work, including our hidden systems such as nerves, muscles and hormones. We also find out how technology can help to keep things on track in conditions such as Type 1 diabetes.
In Illusion we explore how we perceive or make sense of the world, and how everything is not always as it seems.
Up in the Air takes a journey from land to sky, thinking about pollution, flight, weather and ecology.
In How it’s Made we travel back and forth in time to learn more about building houses, sourcing medicines and how technologies such as 3D-printing give us lots of new ways to make things.
Irish experts are on hand explaining concepts and answering questions as we delve into big ideas that are improving our lives.
Written by science journalist and writer Dr Claire O’Connell, the books open children’s minds to a world of potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“As only a small fraction of a child’s life is spent in school it is hugely important to develop and extend their interests beyond this”, says Sorcha Browne, PhD Candidate in the UCD School of Education, and former primary school teacher.
“These books allow children and adults to explore and discover together. The activities and experiments connect the children’s thinking to the bigger picture, allowing them to see how scientific concepts guide Irish researchers’ work.”
- The Science Apprentice books are available to order for schools and are free to collect with the Irish Independent in SuperValu stores every Saturday in November.
- Visit the Science Apprentice website.