Curious Minds

Curious Minds SFI

Curious Minds is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Education and Public Engagement Programme, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public.

Curious Minds (Previously Discovery Primary science) originated in 2003 with the goal of introducing primary school students to science in a practical, hands-on, enjoyable and interactive way. Since 2010 the programme has been run in conjunction with the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland which uses space to inspire and engage young people in science and technology in the world around them.

In 2023 we won a Platinum Award for STEM in our school. Thank you to all involved in helping us to achieve this goal. Our parents are truly incredible in getting involved in all aspects of our school life. Take a look at our pictures a nd feed back.

Feedback:

Congratulations to the learners and teachers in Kilfinane Convent Primary School. You have earned an SFI Curious Minds Platinum Award for your work.
You have shown a wide and varied range of STEM activity. Great work is evident with electricity and the engineering section shows that Limerick will be well supplied with engineers in the future.
You have done great work in the school for your Platinum Award. Your hoped outcomes were clearly defined. Great to see the parent involvement in getting equipment. You have the investigative process well embedded. It is good to see that STEM activities are helping special needs learners with their communication skills. The teachers have obviously embraced the whole process – more co-operation and confidence.
The reflection and evidence from all groups was clear and well presented. Video interviews are very good . The buy in from the parents is impressive and they have much to offer. You have succeeded in building a great confident attitude in all the school body. It is good to see the spread of skills used in STEM being used in other areas.
Well done to all involved and keep on building on the great work you are doing.

2022-2023 Application for SFI Platinum Award

According to the STEM Education Policy (DES 2017), it is essential that children from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to develop and enhance their STEM skills, in order to become active citizens in our society. STEM and Computational Thinking in Scoil Fhionáin should encourage the development of these life skills such as problem-solving, inquiry-based learning and working as part of a team. In Scoil Fhionáin our aim is to be an active school in Ireland’s vision for STEM Education by providing a structured and child-centred STEM and Computational thinking education to all our pupils.STEM and Computational Thinking in Scoil Fhionáin strives to encourage children to see the value of STEM in the world they live in. We want STEM and Computational thinking to inspire the desire for children to enter a STEM career in the future by providing each pupil with this rich and educational experience. Moreover, we strive to increase early STEM and Computational Thinking exposure to our pupils. We have put more focus in the last year and at present into upskilling our teachers in the area of STEM and coding and have invested in more resources in our school to help with this. We are in the process of developing a STEM policy for our school, have a dedicated space on our website to showcase our work and update our Facebook and Twitter daily to showcase our work to our parents and community. This year, 4th – 6th class will begin coding with their teachers and collaborate with Coding Ireland to ensure our students are given the best opportunity to learn and become exposed to the benefits of coding and computational thinking using SCRATCH, Lightbot, microbits, unplugged coding and Beebots. Our Junior classes then will use Beebots, Beebot app, unplugged coding and hopefully in time our older classes will peer tutor them for more. We have incorporated STEM into our teaching and upskilling and spreading awareness is of utmost importance to us as we feel this is an area we would like to give more time and focus to. We hope to showcase our work by the end of the year with a STEM fair/showcase in school for others to see as well as uploading our work to Twitter, Facebook and soon, our website.

STEP 1 – Science

-Living Things

-Energy and Forces

-Materials

-Environmental Awareness and Care

STEP 2 – Technology

STEP 3 – Engineering

STEP 4 – Maths

STEP 5 – STEM Showcase & Events

Reflections and Surveys