Carlow student Aoibhlinn Steger
Carlow student Aoibhlinn Steger is set to play a starring role in a new national series of science books which she has had a huge hand in designing.
Aoibhlinn, 9, is a member of Ireland’s most influential young people’s group, The Wonder Panel, who have been working on the four Science Apprentice books for the past five months.
The Borris National School student was recruited through a national competition by UCD Research and Innovation which was looking for what it terms ‘stretchy thinkers’ – children full of wonder who enjoy figuring things out.
The group of primary school age advisors have worked with the Science Apprentice team to form the questions and answers that make the books invaluable to Irish schoolchildren – and they even get to appear in the books themselves.
“I love science and in particular I really like finding out how things work and why they are the way they are,” she said.
“I’m most interested in the body, in how the brain works and how all the parts work together. I’d like to be a doctor when I grow up.
“I’m very happy to be part of The Wonder Panel. We had to meet loads of new people on the first day and read all the books that had been made before to be able to tell what we wanted this year’s books to be about.
“My favourite book is the Superbodies book, in which I explain the concept of jet lag, but I also helped with Up In The Air.”
The Science Apprentice books will encourage children and adults alike to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics of the world around us.
Throughout the new four-part series we follow characters Izzy and Phil and the wonder panellists on an interactive journey exploring the human body, our environment, how things are made and why everything is not always as it seems.
The books Superbodies, Up In The Air, Illusion and How It’s Made are produced by University College Dublin and partners and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and the Environmental Protection Agency.
This series has been also co-produced by schoolchildren around the country through interactive workshops and discovery tours.
Irish experts are on hand explaining concepts and answering questions as we delve into big ideas that are improving our lives.
The books all contain Augmented Reality elements that have been created by the team at the Virtual Reality Lab in University College Dublin.
Written by science journalist and writer Dr Claire O’Connell, the books open children’s minds to a world of potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Science Apprentice books are available to order for schools and are free to collect with the Irish Independent in SuperValu stores every Saturday in November.