20 June 2012
22 primary school teachers from 10 Dublin schools have received awards for participating in the pilot EU funded ‘Fibonacci Project’ which allows teachers to develop their knowledge and expertise in teaching science and aims to teach students science in a new, hands-on and practical way. The teachers, who have been participating in the Fibonacci Project since June 2010, were presented with their awards by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Education & Skills, Sean Sherlock, T.D. at a ceremony in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra today.
Since the programme began in 2010, members from the Education Department and Biology department of St Patrick’s College supported by Discover Science & Engineering, have been facilitating a professional development programme with these teachers to promote teaching and learning of science at primary level. This teaching focuses in particular on the Nature of Science and focuses on students learning in a hands-on way what science is, how scientists work and the various processes that scientists carry out; observing, predicting and inferring, recording, analysing and discussing.
Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Education & Skills, Sean Sherlock, T.D. said: “Ireland has seen and continues to see significant investment from companies in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors and it is important that we encourage our future generations to embrace these subjects from an early age. A strong culture in any subject comes from getting the basics right. By teaching our children in a fun, interactive and different way, they can develop a real interest in STEM subjects that will stay with them. The Fibonacci project has proved extremely successful and I congratulate all the teachers that took the first step to try something new. I hope that the momentum is maintained and that the project continues to go from strength to strength around the country.”
Dr. Graham Love, Director of the Discover Science & Engineering Programme, Science Foundation Ireland said: “Projects like Fibonacci are very important to encourage teachers and schools to look at what they do differently. In tandem with schools and teachers, we are actively looking to new ways of stretching our existing standards to bring maths and science to the heart of the daily learning experience for students. The evidence is that if children are comfortable with a subject and find it enjoyable, this increases the likelihood of them going on to study it at higher levels of their education. The teachers involved in the Fibonacci Project have brought science to their students in an enjoyable, fun and interactive way, but also in a way that makes them more relevant to students’ every day lives.”
Dr. Cliona Murphy, St. Patrick’s College said: “The feedback we have received from participating teachers has been extremely positive. Many of the teachers were already thinking about the questions but were unsure how to bring this into the classroom in a fun and interactive way. All of the teachers that have participated have reported an increase in their students’ problem solving and presentations skills throughout all of their subjects as well as a new appreciation and tolerance of other students’ ideas.”
The Fibonacci project (2010-2013) is a pan-European initiative funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework (FP7) Programme, which is aimed at promoting inquiry-based science and mathematics teaching in primary and post-primary schools. There are currently 37 centres from 24 different countries involved in this collaborative work.
Read more about the Fibonacci Project