Lockdown: March 2020 – March 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic certainly took Science Starz for a ride! When the lockdown began, just at the end of Science Week 2020, we barely had time to recover, when we began to be flooded with requests for online science provision.
Elita, our director, began to make science videos of activities that children could carry out at home over lockdown. In addition to that, Science Starz began to create science and STEM kits that children could enjoy at home, with accompanying videos that made it easy for children to carry out the instructions. Several groups all over NI availed of these kits, while some groups requested Zoom or live sessions to be able to connect with the children at a greater level. These groups included: NI Science Festival, Libraries NI, Integrated Education Fund, Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, Girlguiding Ulster, Scout Foundation NI, Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Downpatrick Autism Family Support Group, MACS NI, Clonmore Youth Club, Compass Advocacy Network, Stoneyford Community & Youth Association, Colin Sure Start, Sense NI and more!
The idea behind the kits was to give the children something to do over lockdown: something that allowed them to be creative, allowed them to learn, and something that built their confidence – the confidence that comes from achieving results, whether that was growing a grass head (a form of care therapy), lighting an LED bulb from a lemon battery (that WOW! factor), or making a bath bomb (self-care).
The pandemic might have slowed some businesses down, but the team at Science Starz never stopped! The staff and volunteers all played a part, oftentimes taking equipment to their homes to assemble the science/STEM kits, when meeting with other staff members was not allowed.
We hope that these kits were able to keep children busy, keep them learning, and ultimately ignite an interest in STEM that will stay with them well after the pandemic has been and gone!