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STEM in Primary Schools

27 July 2017

St Ronan's College in Lurgan recently hosted a series of STEM days for Primary 6 pupils in the Lurgan area. This particular 'STEM in Primary Schools' event was organised and delivered by the Science and Technology departments of St Ronan's College in collaboration with St Mary's University College. There were 350 pupils in attendance and they undertook a range of STEM based problem-solving activities using mini-drones which had been supplied by St Mary's.

The pupils began the day by identifying the various applications of drones and how they are currently being used to solve real world problems. Pupils were then introduced to drone programming for the purposes of both controlling and ultimately flying the drones in a safe and efficient manner. The pupils worked in teams and completed a range of activities which were based on problems such as delivering parcels by drones to a specific location.

Each of the pupil teams was supported by a member of St Ronan's 'Digital Leaders' who are currently engaged in practice-based research which focuses on the effective use of drones in education.

It is hoped that this type of problem-solving STEM based event will inspire some pupils to further pursue an interest in the STEM subjects at post-primary level and beyond. They also provide a unique opportunity for providing both Early Professional Development and Continuing Professional Development enhancement for teachers within both the primary and post-primary sectors.

The series of  'STEM in Primary Schools' events have come about as a result of the ongoing collaborative research project currently being conducted by Dr Kieran McGeown of St Mary's and Dr Michael Ievers of Stranmillis University College.

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