First Development Education Day for BScEd Students

devedday14aJust before Easter this year Fourth year BScEds co-organised a Development Education Day for their class. Held in Renehan Hall, it was a very full day consisting of three main sections, namely: An Introduction to Development Education; the Nurture Africa Ambassador Project in association with NUI Maynooth Access office and finally a ‘Science for Development’ session facilitated by colleagues Joe Clowry, Dr. Brendan Doggett and fifth year boys from St. Mary’s Academy, CBS, Carlow.

The introduction to DevEd was facilitated by Vicky Donnelly from One World Centre, Galway. Vicky is a leader on the Global Teachers Award which is a programme that covers a range of issues concernig social justice. It is a highly active and discursive programme and was well received by teh BScEd students.

The second part of the day took place during lunch, when we held a public presentation about Nurture Africa’s Ambassador programme which is very well represented by NUI Maynooth students including no fewer than five Year 4 BScEds!

Brian Iredale, CEO of Nurture Africa, spoke about the origins and overview of the Healthcare and Educational activities of this dynamic NGO that is based in Ireland and Uganda. Then Gavin Hennessy, Coordinator of the Ambassador Programme, spoke about the vision for this programme and reflected on his own journey in the area of Development Education. Finally, three of the five students heading to Uganda this summer spoke briefly about the story so far in becoming Ambassadors and volunteers with Nurture Africa and the links with the Access Office.

For the afternoon session the focus was on Science for Development which was lead by Science Teacher, Joe Clowry, formerly Education Officer with the CDPC and Coordinator of the Young Scientist Tanzania Exhibition. YST is an Irish Aid funded project that emerged from the work of the Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium (CDPC) in recent years.

The BScEd students also heard from Keane Nolan and DJ Hanley from St Mary’s Academy, CBS, Carlow. Keane Nolan and DJ Hanley were the 2012 winners of the ‘Science for Development’ Award at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The aim of their project was to look at the use of honey and propolis to preserve raw milk in rural parts of Africa where refrigeration and pasteurisation facilities are not available. You can hear the lads talk about their project here.

As part of their prize, sponsored by Irish Aid and Self Help Africa, the boys travelled to Ethiopia to meet with farmers and cooperative managers, who, it was clear took a very keen interest in their project. BScEd students also praised the Keane and DJ’s work very enthusiastically. They commented that it gave them an insight into ways they, as teachers, can contribute to Science for Development.

Finally, the group spent some time exploring possibilities for curricular links to DevEd in Science and Maths lessons and ideas for projects that might work well for the Young Scientists in Tanzania. Well done and thank you to everyone involved!

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