What is Cell EXPLORERS?
Cell EXPLORERS (www.cellexplorers.com) is a science education and outreach programme based in the School of Natural Sciences in the National University of Ireland, Galway. We are currently funded by Science Foundation Ireland to support our outreach work in the West of Ireland and to support the national expansion of the Cell EXPLORERS programme to other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across Ireland.
Our Aims & How We Work
Our primary aim is to Inform, Inspire, and Involve the general public in science. We strive to promote hands-on discovery of molecular and cellular biology whilst addressing misconceptions associated with science and scientists. We do this through many different activities, including science camps, on-campus workshops, and school visits delivered via our roadshow. Some of our workshops include the immensely successful Fantastic DNA, Little Cells, and Mission to Mars: Operation Greenfingers.
Our programme runs on a unique, sustainable model where HEI staff and students, on a voluntary basis or as part of their degree, are involved in public engagement. This gives the dual benefit of engaging children and the general public whilst also facilitating the training of tomorrow’s science communicators.
Pictured: The NUI Galway team at the GSTF 2019
Our New Project with I’m A Scientist!
Due to the current COVID-19 crisis our programme has been unable to do carry out our normal activities, such as summer camps or school visits. Unfortunately, we do not think that we will be able to resume our normal in-person Fantastic DNA roadshow come September. Instead, we have initiated several online projects, such as Cell EXPLORERS I’m A Scientist and Fantastic DNA! in a Box.
We have teamed up with the I’m a Scientist crew, so that our enthusiastic scientist volunteers can still interact with our young members of the public to talk about all things science-related! Teachers and their pupils will be able to use the I’m a Scientist platform to engage in a structured online chat with one of our Cell EXPLORERS scientists. You can find out more about what it means to be a scientist– whether it is about what training is involved, what scientists do in their free time, or what is involved in doing scientific research.