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SSPC Impact Case Study: Education and Public Engagement


Project Lead:

Dr Martin McHugh

Project Partner:

SFI Research Centres, iCRAG, VistaMilk, IPIC, Cúram, I-Form, Connect

Areas of Impact:

Health, Human Capacity, Societal

STEM Matters is an 8-page monthly mini-mag that profiles SFI research centres. The project has been co-designed by SSPC and Ireland’s award-winning publisher of curriculum-linked monthly news magazines for primary schools, News Mag Media.

STEM Matters is a free digital magazine and teaching resource for 5th and 6th class teachers and pupils that is packed full of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Copies of STEM Matters were included in all Primary Planet copies (September issue #104) and to all teachers and pupils subscribed to The Primary Planet children’s monthly news magazine. 7 issues were printed in total with each targeting a subscriber base of 75,000 primary school pupils. In total, over 500,000 copies of STEM Matters have been printed and distributed to schools all over Ireland.

The project was kicked off in 2021 after an open call to all SFI research centres to plan the initiation of STEM Matters. SSPC and News Mag Media co-ordinated efforts among all of the centres so that a monthly magazine could be produced in a timely fashion from September 2021. The SSPC issue was used to set the master template. The magazine included a description of the centre, its work, profiles of SSPC researchers along with puzzles, games and experiments. The following centres took part and each offered an individual take on centre outputs:

Issue 1: SSPC –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=16
Issue 2: iCRAG –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=17
Issue 3: VistaMilk –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=18
Issue 4: IPIC –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=19
Issue 5: Cúram –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=20
Issue 6: I-Form –  https://theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=21
Issue 7: Connect –  https://www.theprimaryplanet.ie/Homework.aspx?homework_id=22

A total of 500,000 copies of the magazine were produced, approximately 75,000 per centre. The magazines were distributed to over 600 primary schools. Feedback from teachers indicated that the magazine was implemented in classrooms and they were greatly aided by and high quality, Irish STEM content that is based on real research.

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