​AMBER Research Centre Adapts Its NanoWOW Primary Educational Programme So Children Can Learn About Science Online
​AMBER Research Centre Adapts Its NanoWOW Primary Educational Programme So Children Can Learn About Science Online

AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research at Trinity College Dublin, have launched a new digital learning experience for children across Ireland, who are at home as a result of the COVID-19 measures currently in place. By adapting the Centre’s NanoWOW educational programme, AMBER researchers have created videos to teach children more about science, while they are at home.

Videos cover questions about science that are often asked about the world around us

  • Scientists will demonstrate some simple experiments that can be done at home
  • Each video links to the NanoWOW resources which include presentations, lesson plans and information parents and teachers can use for schooling at home

AMBER scientists will answer questions like:

  • Can we grow human brains?
  • Why do we use some materials for some uses, and not for others?
  • What is a mirror made from and why is it reflective?
  • How small is nano?
  • Why does a crushed-up vitamin tablet dissolve quicker than a whole vitamin tablet?
  • Do you think it’s possible to wear clothes that can do things like change your body temperature and charge your phone battery?

With the invaluable assistance of Edelman, AMBER Research Centre have been able to open up their wealth of resources and make them available to parents and kids to help them with their science learning. Ordinarily these resources would be distributed via schools but with the restrictions AMBER Research Centre felt strongly about wanting to reach out directly to ensure that kids and parents have access to the tools and resources that can help develop the scientists of the future or, at the very least, give them some entertaining and educational content to pass the time.

Edelman worked with the AMBER Research Centre Scientists to film 5 episodes of educational and engaging science lessons from the comfort of their own home. Edelman supplied equipment including green screens, tripods and directed the set up and filming virtually for each episode. It was then edited to add simple animations to bring it to life for kids. In addition, Edelman developed supporting social assets that were seeded with paid support on Facebook and Instagram to signpost the material.

More about NanoWOW
More about NanoWOW

Over the next three week period on the AMBER website - a variety of fun and educational videos will be made available. The videos are aimed at children aged between 10 – 12 years old but are also suitable for younger ages. Each video is presented by an AMBER scientist, or educator, so that children can learn about nanoscience direct from the people who know it best. Each video ties back to NanoWOW resources for parents and teachers to use when schooling at home, this includes presentations and details on investigations and experiments, to try out at home! On the website there is also information for parents and teachers who want to register their kids’ interest in future virtual ScienceLive! events, a NanoWOW quiz, and a feedback form for parents and teachers to share their experience of teaching NanoWOW from home.

Lorraine Byrne, Executive Director of the AMBER Research Centre, said:

“All across the world parents are adjusting to a new normal. The measures put in place to protect us from the spread of COVID-19 have meant the closure of schools and families socially distancing themselves from others. At AMBER we have a wealth of educational resources available to help with science learning. Ordinarily these resources would be delivered by teachers in a classroom setting but in the current landscape we wanted to find a way to bring these to life for children in their homes.

“The NanoWOW videos are fun and explore lots of different concepts – sparking children’s interest in science and finding new ways of looking at our day to day world. We want to deliver content that at the very least would be both entertaining and educational, but also give parents access to the tools and resources that can help develop the scientists of the future.”

NanoWOW is a primary school resource for teachers, parents, and children (10-12 years old) to introduce nanoscience and nanotechnologies. It was developed in conjunction with St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, now part of the DCU, and adapted for home schooling by the AMBER education team. There are 5 modules in NanoWOW which include PowerPoint presentations, and teaching/learning materials.