Education news

World's first international primary science education summit

Liz Branniff of St Teresa's PS with P7 pupils Nia Austin and James Kinnard. Picture by Brian Morrison

Belfast is to play host to the world's first international primary science education conference.

Organised by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) the three-day event, taking place at the Waterfront Hall from June 9-11, will celebrate excellence in the teaching and learning of primary science across the world.

It will include a wide range of workshops led by outstanding educators.

Speakers include clinical anatomist Professor Alice Roberts, Dr Stuart Brown, Professor Danielle George and the BBC's `face of space' scientist and broadcaster, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

The conference was designed by the PSTT to break down any boundaries that stand in the way of excellent primary science teaching. It will give professionals the opportunity to network, establish contacts and learn inspiring methods to use in their own teaching practice.

Belfast was chosen as a location due to the `stem' excellence in the city and to further recognise the 14 PSTT College Fellows who have received the Primary Science Teacher of the Year Award.

One such school leading the way is St Teresa's PS in west Belfast.

Science teacher Liz Braniff said the school introduced a `playful science' option as part of a course for P1 and P2 children.

"The result was fantastic - the children were so engaged in the project. They were highly motivated, interested, excited about science and using scientific words in their everyday speaking," she said.

"In St Teresa's our hope is to create a cluster of schools in our area where we will share our experiences and encourage more science in the early years. For me, it renewed and refreshed my outlook and teaching of science and gave me the confidence to give science a go - even with these very young children."

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