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Education opens first STEM event

4 March, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Over 3,500 primary school children will experience the wonders of modern science when they attend the first STEM Experience event.

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, attended the opening of the brand new initiative across the North of Ireland which aims to promote a better understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a fun and engaging way.

Speaking at the first event in the King's Hall, Belfast, the Minister said: "This is a very interesting and enjoyable way for primary and post-primary school children to get involved in STEM subjects. Children will experience science in a way they never have before, from controlling their own robotic sumo wrestlers to piloting hovercrafts and even understanding space exploration."

This is the first of eight events across the North of Ireland which will attract 3,500 pupils from around 70 primary and post-primary schools. Other events will take place in Armagh City Hotel, Whitla Hall, Queen's University, Belfast and Diamond, University of Ulster, Coleraine.

The Minister continued: "The children and young people attending these events will be treated to workshops looking at a range of scientific concepts which they will be able to apply to the real world. All pupils will get the chance to gain hands-on interactive experiences which will help promote their problem solving and creative thinking.

"The importance of science cannot be understated; schools that prioritise science and technology, in both their curriculum and extra-curricular activities, will help us to create a workforce that can fill skills gaps in society, helping to drive our economy forward in these difficult times."

The Department of Education has provided £150,000 funding for this project.

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