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AMBER Research Centre Creates a New Digital Learning Experience for Kids at Home

7 May 2020

The Centre Has Adapted Its NanoWow Primary Educational Programme So Children Can Learn About Science Online

AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research at Trinity College Dublin, have launched a new digital learning experience for children across Ireland, who are at home as a result of the COVID-19 measures currently in place. By adapting the Centre’s NanoWOW educational programme, AMBER researchers have created videos to teach children more about science, while they’re at home.

AMBER scientists will answer questions like:

  • Can we grow human brains?
  • Why do we use some materials for some uses, and not for others?
  • What is a mirror made from and why is it reflective?
  • How small is nano?
  • Why does a crushed-up vitamin tablet dissolve quicker than a whole vitamin tablet?
  • Do you think it’s possible to wear clothes that can do things like change your body temperature and charge your phone battery?

Starting today, over a three week period on the AMBER website – at www.ambercentre.ie/nanowow – a variety of fun and educational videos will be made available. The videos are aimed at children aged between 10 – 12 years old but are also suitable for younger ages. Each video is presented by an AMBER scientist, or educator, so that children have the opportunity to learn about nanoscience direct from the people who know it best.

Each video ties back to NanoWOW resources for parents and teachers to use when schooling at home, this includes presentations and details on investigations and experiments, to try out at home! On the website there is also information for parents and teachers who want to register their kids’ interest in future virtual ScienceLive! events, a NanoWOW quiz, and a feedback form for parents and teachers to share their experience of teaching NanoWOW from home.

Lorraine Byrne, Executive Director of the AMBER Research Centre, said:

All across the world parents are adjusting to a new normal. The measures put place to protect us from the spread of COVID-19 have meant the closure of schools and families socially distancing themselves from others. At AMBER we have a wealth of educational resources available to help with science learning. Ordinarily these resources would delivered by teachers in a classroom setting but in the current landscape we wanted to find a way to bring these to life for children in their homes.

The NanoWOW videos are fun and explore lots of different concepts – sparking children’s interest in science and finding new ways of looking at our day to day world.  We want to deliver content that at the very least would be both entertaining and educational, but also give parents access to the tools and resources that can help develop the scientists of the future.”

NanoWOW is a primary school resource for teachers, parents and children (10-12 years old) to introduce nanoscience and nanotechnologies. It was developed in conjunction with St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, now part of the DCU. There are 5 modules in NanoWOW which include PowerPoint presentations, and teaching/learning materials.

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AMBER has a strong emphasis on collaboration. Central to AMBER’s research remit are collaborative projects performed with industry partners, and working with academic, industry and wider stakeholder on international and national research programmes.

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