Girl Guides shoot for the stars with new Space programme
8 October 2020 | 0
Irish Girl Guides is shooting for the stars with ae new Space programme that will launch this weekend on International Day of the Girl, this Sunday 11 October.
The half-hour event, which will include appearances from award-winning space communicator, Dr Niamh Shaw, and astrophysicist and European Space Agency scientist Dr Kate Isaak, will kick off on the Irish Girl Guides (IGG) YouTube channel at 7pm.
Dr Shaw, who was IGG’s Honorary Ambassador 2019-2020, said that, on accepting the role, she had been keen to add a Space badge to IGG’s already wide-ranging programme of activities and challenges for girls and young women.
“I set myself a goal to establish a Space badge packed with space-themed activities about our planet and our place in Space. Working with Frances McCarthy at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory (who is also an IGG Leader) and adapting the science, technology engineering and maths activities included in the ESERO Ireland archive, we achieved just that.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Irish Girl Guides Chief Commissioner Amanda O’Sullivan, said: “Irish Girl Guides is a progressive organisation that encourages girls to pursue subjects and careers that might traditionally be considered to be for boys and men.
“The Space badge, which will be awarded to all girls who complete age-appropriate STEM activities on a Space theme, will complement other badges we have introduced in recent years to encourage girls to explore areas they might not otherwise have considered, including engineering, aviation and STEM.”
Frances McCarthy, education & outreach officer at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and an IGG volunteer leader in Cork, played a key role in compiling the Space programme with Dr Shaw.
“The Space programme includes a range of activities that are guaranteed to appeal to children of all ages,” said McCarthy. “These includerocket-building, stargazing, solar system walks and looking for the International Space Station in the night sky. Older girls will also learn about Irish women working in the Space sector and will be challenged to make a model moon base out of recycled materials. We hope that, by doing these activities, girls will not only be enthused about Space but might consider a career in STEM.”