By no stretch of the imagination is Derry a perfect place but when it comes to giving young people something to aspire towards we have our heads screwed on.
Earlier this month Derry City Council, Ilex and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure launched the 2015/16 Science and Innovation Programme in Eighty81 in Ebrington.
The programme is as a direct result of the City of Culture Legacy and like last year’s theme was Music City, this year’s theme will be Science and Innovation.
Derry City Council Legacy Director, Oonagh McGillion explained why the decision had been taken to stage such an impressive programme.
“We wanted to do something that could offer young people good opportunity to excel when it comes to to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. There are a lot of jobs out there looking for STEM qualifications and what better way than to get children and young people interested in these areas before they start down the academic route,” said Oonagh.
“When it comes to STEM and digital, Derry is already doing really well with Magee University, CTRICS, ENI, CultureTECH to name but a few. We wanted to do something to complement these things.”
The Science and Innovation Programme was launched last week and to describe it as exciting would not being doing the programme justice.
In May and September this year eight primary schools in the North West will be given the chance to build their very own electric powered IET Formula Goblin car. Each team will work together to develop, design and build their cars before entering them into Nutts Corner Goblin race on May 23. All eight cars will also participate in the North West Showcase Day on Saturday September 19 in Ebrington and will race for the inaugural title of Champion IET Goblin North West.
“One of the objectives of the programme is to make the idea of learning STEM subjects appealing and fun to young people,” explained Oonagh.
If the idea of racing cars in Ebrington isn’t enough to convince you just how amazing the programme is then try and imagine what Derry will look like when it hosts the Brick Wonders Exhibition.
When it comes to STEM and digital, Derry is already doing really well with Magee University, CTRICS, ENI, CultureTECH to name but a few. We wanted to do something to complement these thingOonagh McGillion - Legacy Director - Derry City Council
It’ll be the first time the Brick Wonders Exhibition will take place in the island of Ireland and it will in the Curiosity Gallery in Eighty81 in Ebrington for 12 weeks.
The Brick Wonders Exhibition was created by Warren Elsmore and will feature inspiring, ancient, natural and modern wonders from the world, depicted using Lego.
During its time in Derry the Brick Wonders Exhibition will host an All-Ireland Wonders Competition. Entrants will be asked to design a ‘Wonder’ which they believe epitomises their county. The winners will be exhibited in the Lego Trail throughout the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
“We are really excited about the whole programme,” said Oonagh.
“The programme we launched last week, whilst impressive, will be added to but in the meantime, if anyone would like to find out more or get involved in any of the projects within the programme all they have to do is get in contact.”