NUI Galway treats first patient in the world as part of clinical trial for promising new treatment in acute leukemia

NUI Galway treats first patient in the world as part of clinical trial for promising new treatment in acute leukemia-image

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NUI Galway has announced that a patient attending University Hospital Galway is the first patient worldwide to start treatment in a clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug candidate for sufferers of acute myeloid leukemia. The announcement was made today and co-incided with International Clinical Trials Day. Adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults, and it is estimated that there were over 18,000 new cases and over 10,000 deaths from the disease in 2014 world-wide. Unlike other cancers that start in an organ and spread to the bone marrow, AML is known for rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that gather in the bone marrow and as a result, impede normal blood cell production. While leukemic cells move into the blood, the lack of normal blood cells can cause some of the symptoms of AML such as anaemia and increased risk of infections or excessive bleeding. Current treatment options for AML are chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, both of which can destroy cancer cells but do not reduce the related side effects. The investigational drug candidate in the Phase 1/2 clinical study in Galway is being developed by US based company GlycoMimetics, who are exploring the clinical use of the drug candidate in blood cancers. The company announced last week that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to GMI-1271 for treatment of AML. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, NUI Galway, Principal Investigator on the study, stated that: “Based on preclinical data and on a favourable safety profile in healthy volunteers, we believe that GMI-1271 has the potential to be an important new therapy for people with certain blood cancers. It seems that the therapeutic agent in this potential treatment can reverse resistance to chemotherapy which is caused by AML cells’ ability to bind to a receptor called E-selectin in the bone marrow.” NUI Galway’s key strategic research priorities include Cancer Research, Regenerative Medicine and Medical Devices. The University is due to open a new facility for patient-centered clinical research and first-in-man clinical trials, as well as translational research, in the coming months. Ends

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Galway Celebrates National Volunteering Week

Galway Celebrates National Volunteering Week-image

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Last week Volunteer Galway, NUI Galway’s volunteer programme ALIVE, and GMIT joined forces to celebrate National Volunteering Week, encouraging people of all ages to think about how they can get more involved it their local community as a volunteer. Research has shown that not only does volunteering have a positive impact on the local community, but volunteers themselves also benefit through acquiring new skills, increasing their employability and improving their mental health. “The aim was to get as many people as possible volunteering. There are many ways to help out in your community and we can provide advice and support around this.” said Donncha Foley of Volunteer Galway, who has developed workshops for organisations seeking to take on volunteers. Sam O’'Neill, GMIT Students Union President and Irish Heart Foundation volunteer, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students volunteering throughout Galway and beyond because of this initiative. They are being shown the value of volunteering, not just for themselves in terms of boosting their employability, but also the benefit it has to society as a whole. Volunteers may not be paid but the work they do throughout the year is priceless.” To mark the 2015 National Volunteer Week, the Galway City and County Age Friendly Older Persons Council met with students from GMIT and NUI Galway. Joan Kavanagh Chairperson of Galway Age Friendly, said, “We have seen a great opportunity through volunteering for intergenerational collaboration across the city between all age groups committed to fostering a city committed to addressing social justice.” The ALIVE programme at NUI Galway harness, support and reward student voluntary activity across the University, Galway city and wider communities to develop their own practical skills and civic awareness. Volunteer Galway provides information and advice to people interested in volunteering, by advertising volunteer roles on behalf of community organisations and charities, and by helping members of the public to find suitable volunteer roles. Volunteer Galway also assists organisations in recruiting and managing volunteers. -Ends-

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Minister English Announces €1.5 Million Funding for Research on Next Generation Imaging for Smartphone Cameras

Minister English Announces €1.5 Million Funding for Research on Next Generation Imaging for Smartphone Cameras-image

Monday, 25 May 2015

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, today announced funding of €1.5 million for a new research project at NUI Galway which will seek to address technical challenges associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. Delivered by the Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the funding is part of SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme and includes a €750,000 industry contribution from Galway-based computational imaging company FotoNation.  The research project will run for 4 years and will sustain positions for six PhD researchers and three post doctorial researchers. Commenting about the announcement, Minister English said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to identify strategic opportunities based on emerging global trends. Social media content is becoming increasingly visual with huge growth in the amount of photos and videos now being shared online. This trend is driving strong demand for advancements in smartphone camera technology. This demand presents a strong strategic opportunity for Ireland in the years ahead, and that’s why funding for a project like this through SFI is enormously important.” Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway commented: ”We are delighted to be associated with this ground-breaking applied research and to be partnering with FotoNation, which is the global leader in smartphone image analytics. Our academic researchers are pioneers in this new industry and we are committed to supporting close-to-market R&D as the foundation for future economic growth in Ireland.” Dr. Peter Corcoran, Principle Investigator on the project said: “This proposal provides a unique opportunity for engineering PhD researchers at NUI Galway to work on research topics driven directly by the future needs of the global consumer electronics industry. Many of these researchers will have opportunities to engage with, learn from, and contribute to an industry-leading innovation and intellectual property development process. This forward-looking research partnership is a bold step towards the future of PhD education in Europe. ” Dr. Petronel Bigioi, General Manager of FotoNation added: “FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing state of the art in image processing. Over 2 billion digital cameras and smartphone devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by FotoNation engineers. This collaboration with NUI Galway will allow us to continue our quest for innovative solutions to technical issues associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. ” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, also welcomed the announcement: “SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme is specifically aimed at funding compelling research opportunities of scale with strong potential for delivering economic and societal impact to Ireland. The explosion of imaging technology globally creates very clear opportunities for Ireland and we are pleased to be in a position to support Dr. Corcoran and his team at NUI Galway in helping to position Ireland as a leader in research and innovation this area.”   SFI is focused on building strategic partnerships that fund excellent science and drive that science out into the market and society as part of its Agenda 2020 strategy. These partnerships enhance the delivery of SFI’s strategy through leveraging its investment and capability to the maximum extent possible. The SFI Partnership Schemes aim to provide a flexible mechanism by which SFI can build strategic collaborations with key partners such as industry, funding agencies, charities, philanthropic organisations or higher education institutes (HEIs) with the goal of co-funding outstanding opportunities.  About FotoNation FotoNation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA), is giving life to computational imaging by merging technology with emotion. With technology in more than 60 percent of global tier-1 smartphones, FotoNation develops technologies that serve the computational imaging space for handsets and cameras, as well as the automotive, surveillance, security, and augmented reality markets. The creation, of the next generation of computational imaging algorithms is our mission. The art of engineering new ways to reach the highest possible performance while keeping system requirements to a minimum is our core skillset. FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing the state of the art in image processing. More than a decade ago, FotoNation was the first to integrate a commercially successful computational imaging solution into an embedded mobile device. Today the company remains the unchallenged leader in computational photography and computer vision. Nearly 2 billion digital cameras and smart devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by the sharp minds and passionate hearts of FotoNation engineers.  For more information visit www.fotonation.com. ENDS

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NUI Galway Offers Free Places on Award-Winning Software Development Programme

NUI Galway Offers Free Places on Award-Winning Software Development Programme -image

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by Grad Ireland. 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one-year conversion programme in conjunction with 19 leading IT employers which enable graduates to re-skill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority, given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants therefore, pay no fees, only a student levy of €224. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region. The course also involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start a career as a software developer. The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, NUI Galway Course Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from engineering, maths and science backgrounds, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners. They will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and realise that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset.” Dr Howley continued: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The progamme is now highly respected among many of Ireland’s leading employers and many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” The programme is open to all those who have a Level 8 degree or alternatively those with a Level 7 degree and some relevant industry work experience. The programme is ideal for those from a Mathematics, Science or Engineering background, and who relish challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, or seek more information via the twitter account @hdipindustry.  Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable. Deadline for final applications is Friday, 15 June. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Public asked for their ideas about wellbeing in Galway City

Public asked for their ideas about wellbeing in Galway City-image

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Members of the Galway City Community Network and interested members of the public are invited to a unique workshop on Saturday, 6 June, which will focus on wellbeing in Galway City. Organised by the Galway City Community Network (GCCN) and NUI Galway, the aim of the interactive event is to develop a ‘Statement of Wellbeing’ for current and future generations in Galway City. The workshop runs from 9am – 1pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. While traditional economic models have often equated wellbeing with economic growth, new research is showing the importance of the wider question of what really matters in life. This in turn has triggered an ongoing debate about how best to measure and foster individual and societal wellbeing. Tommy Flaherty, GCCN Chairperson said: “Wellbeing is something we should all be aiming for. It is more than the absence of ill-health. It is about how we plan our communities, our cities, and our environment so we can have a sense of wellbeing. We want to get individuals, groups and organisations from the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Galway involved. We want them to share their visions for how we can embed wellbeing in Galway city for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.” The workshop will use a technique called ‘collective intelligence’ to allow the gathering and structuring of ideas to inform the wellbeing statement. Michael Hogan, co-leader of the Health and Wellbeing research group at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway said: “Galway is such a wonderful place, we’re so delighted to be able to contribute to the great work that is ongoing across the city. Our role at this collective intelligence event is to act as facilitators - the people who come to our event have all the intelligence.” Michael Hogan added: “This work is difficult in part because when many minds converge on the issue of understanding and promoting wellbeing, many different ideas emerge and research is slow to establish coherence. Increasingly recognised as important is empowering groups to work together to establish a shared vision of wellbeing that they can act upon – and promoting systems thinking in groups such that they can understand how their different wellbeing objectives relate to one another. Notably, international best practice suggests that understanding well-being and developing well-being actions is best approached by focusing on the key strategic objectives and goals that guide our collective efforts to enhance wellbeing.” International perspective will also be brought to the event with the participation of Professor Benjamin Broome of Arizona State University. Commenting on the logistics of the event, Ann Irwin GCCN Co-ordinator, said: “The workshop will consist of six working groups of about 20 people each. In the working group participants will be asked to brainstorm a series of ideas that will eventually lead us to a Wellbeing Statement for Galway. This process will be facilitated by an experienced facilitator and start at 9am. Anyone interested is asked to register using the online registration process as soon as possible as there is a trigger question that all participants are asked to answer before the workshop. This enables the facilitators to prepare the session. All the details are on the website www.galwaycitycommunitynetwork.ie.” Galway City Community Network is the Public Participation Network for Galway City which ensures extensive input by organisations and groups in the community, voluntary and environmental sectors into local decision and policy making bodies including at local authority level. -ends- 

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Maire Geoghegan-Quinn Launches NUI Galway Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn Launches NUI Galway Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development-image

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development was officially launched by Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn recently. Offering a range of part-time, flexible programmes for adult learners, the Centre combines the best in educational technologies to provide an education that meets the personal and professional needs of adult learners. Commenting on the changing education landscape, Centre Director, Nuala McGuinn said: “The way people are learning has to change to respond to people’s lifestyle and their working circumstances. Workers are commuting long distances and working irregular hours so the challenge is to be able to respond to their needs in a flexible manner.” Maintaining all that has been the hallmark of Adult Education since its early days of outreach education in the 1970s the Centre has refocused its services in line with the University’s new strategic plan. One of the objectives of the new plan is to grow the range of flexible programmes and increase the overall percentage of adult learners at the University to 20% by 2020. Speaking at the launch Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “Lifelong learning is important for adults and an essential requirement in a person’s working life. Never before has the need to re-skill, up-skill and convert to new roles throughout our working lives been as important as it is today. At European level, a government target to is to have a 15% representation of adult learners in higher education and I would like to congratulate NUI Galway on its strategic objective to go beyond this target.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “The University’s long history in the provision of adult education programmes, which saw lecturers travelling to outreach locations late in the evening to bring university education closer to their homes. There has been a huge advance in teaching technologies and flexibility available to adult learners both in the range of courses on offer and the modes of delivery used. I would like to congratulate the Centre on their work to date and also on their recent achievement under the Springboard programme where NUI Galway received over 100 places as part of the Springboard and ICT Skills incentive.” Programmes in Innovation Management, Technology Commercialisation, Lean and Quality Systems, Medical Device Science and Automation and Control are now offering funded places for the unemployed providing an opportunity to re-skill and return to the workplace. For more information contact the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at adultlearning@nuigalway.ie or 091 495241, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

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NUI Galway MA student invited to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

NUI Galway MA student invited to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon-image

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway Global Women’s Studies student, Faith Amanya, was one of small group invited to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the United National Training School Ireland in the Curragh on Monday. Faith Amanya is currently undertaking a Masters in Gender, Globalisation and Rights with the Centre for Global Women’s Studies in School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. Ms Amanya who is a local government development officer in western Uganda is one of two Irish Aid scholars in the Global Women’s Studies Masters programme this year. As part of her Masters studies, Faith recently completed a six-week professional placement with the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence, which brings together Ireland’s leading development and humanitarian organisations, relevant Government departments and the Irish Defence Forces to work in partnership to tackle gender based violence. In this context, Faith had contributed to training sessions at the United National Training School Ireland (UNTSI) for members of the Irish Defence Forces getting ready to go on UN peace support operations.   On learning that the Irish Defence Forces had invited Faith to return to the Curragh to meet with Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Ms Amanya, said: “I am grateful and honoured. I am passionate about stopping gender based violence and engaging men in this work. Sharing my experience with future Irish peace keepers at UNTSI and being invited to meet the UN Secretary General during his visit to Ireland are very special experiences for me.” The Masters in Gender Globalisation and Rights is the flagship programme of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies. Course director, Dr Niamh Reilly, said: “Faith’s experience is a wonderful illustration of the strengths of our Masters programme, which brings together recent graduates and mature students from Ireland and overseas to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to advance gender equality and human rights in responses to global issues.” The Centre for Global Women’s Studies was recently awarded a major research contract with Department for International Development (UK) to examine the social and economic costs of violence against women and girls in Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan. -ends-   

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Discussion Forum at NUI Galway to Focus on Spending Socially

Discussion Forum at NUI Galway to Focus on Spending Socially-image

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host a unique, participatory and interactive event that explores the potential of public procurement to support Ireland’s budding social economy. This discussion forum, ‘Spending Socially - Achieving Social Value through Public Procurement’ will take place on Monday, 15 June. The event was borne out of an identified need to support local enterprises to engage in public procurement process discovered while exploring the possibilities of setting up a community café in a new building at NUI Galway. Derek Nolan T.D. will open the event which will bring together a unique range of experts in the fields of public procurement and the social economy. Speakers will include members from the Office for Government Procurement, the Strategic Investment Board, the NOW Project, and the 'Ready for Business' Organisation and many more experts and advocates. The aim of the discussion forum is to explore the potential uses of social clauses in public contracts and to encourage a discussion on the social benefits that can be achieved through targeted government spending. The event will explore the procurement landscape in Ireland with a view to understanding how social enterprises could be supported to offer their services and bid for tenders. Throughout this discussion a particular focus will be placed on how to improve employment opportunities for marginalized groups, most specifically, persons with disabilities. All are welcome to attend this event particularly those with interest in supporting social and micro enterprises, community organisations, service providers and entrepreneurial individuals, local development networks, students, anyone with interest in supporting local business and enterprise and those involved in public procurement whether as an advisor, policy-maker or tenderer.  The forum is being organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, and Employ Ability Galway, and is funded by the Irish Research Council under its New Foundations Scheme. For more information and to register please see: https://spendingsocial.eventbrite.com. -ends- 

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NUI Galway Hosts 30th Topology and its Applications Conference

NUI Galway Hosts 30th Topology and its Applications Conference -image

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host the 30th Summer Conference on Topology and its Applications (SumTop30) from 23-26 June. This is the first time this conference will take place in Ireland. Hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, SumTop30 is an annual major international event in mathematical research and is held primarily in North America. With an expected attendance of more than 150 international delegates, this event will distinguish Ireland as a model of excellence in mathematical research communication, mentorship and collaboration. This year the conference has an ambitious scientific programme that showcases state-of-the-art research in topology with particular emphasis on connections and applications. Speakers this year include some of the most exciting new talents, alongside the most distinguished players in the field. With scientific excellence and its communication as a primary objective, the conference will present a diverse range of speakers in terms of career-point, geographical location, research interest and gender. Keynote speakers include Jan van Mill, University of Amsterdam, Justin Tatch Moore, Cornell University and Ross Geoghegan, Binghamton University, New York. The 18th Galway Topology Colloquium will also take place at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 June. The Colloquium is distinguished by its particular focus on graduate and early-career researchers, providing a relaxed and informal environment in which to discuss and develop research interests. Special features for the Colloquium include working groups of participants to prepare in particular for the SumTop30 workshops, and also a panel discussion whose panel will be populated by key SumTop30 invited speakers. Dr Aisling McCluskey, Conference Co-organiser and Senior Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, said: “The conference with its broad scientific focus indicates the strength of Ireland’s research position within pure mathematics generally, and within topology and its applications specifically on the world stage. It will showcase a diverse range of topological research with applications that will attract young graduates to a correspondingly diverse range of career options within STEM particularly.” The conference is sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, National Science Foundation (USA), Fáilte Ireland and Irish Mathematical Society. -ends-

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Conference Highlights the Social, Cultural and Economic Benefits of Investing in the Creativity of Young People

Conference Highlights the Social, Cultural and Economic Benefits of Investing in the Creativity of Young People-image

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Research findings presented at a conference today (Thursday, 28 May) in NUI Galway reveal that arts and creative activities are of real benefit to young children. As well as building confidence, and encouraging critical reflection and creative thinking, they also provide a powerful base for team working, problem solving and future development. The research was carried out by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and looked at an innovative three-year project, BEAST!, developed and operated by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in Galway. BEAST! (Baboró: Environment, Arts, Science and Technology) took the form of an educational arts and science initiative for primary school children, aged predominately between 9 and 12 years. The project worked with schools on using the arts as a teaching methodology to achieve a higher profile for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Some of the exercises involved the pupils learning about energy usage and climate change with Dr Edward Curry, a scientist from Insight at NUI Galway.  They carried out energy audits in their homes to learn ways of reducing their energy footprint and they also worked with artists to create cartoon animations and storyboards as a means of expressing what they’d learnt. These exercises allowed science to be taught in a more practical and accessible way. Commenting on result findings, which will be presented at the conference ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’ today, Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway said: “The development of education of children through creativity and the arts should be given equal attention as learning through reading writing and mathematics. Apart from being the gateway to human expression and innovative learning, it affords children the opportunity to see school as a forum for empathy development, resilience building and attainment of mastery and is in essence an ‘antidote’ to classroom bullying. It is imperative that the Department of Education enable and enhance such capacity building in all schools, and particularly for younger students in need of support.” Dr Cormac Forkan who led the social research team at NUI Galway commented that: “At the highest level, the project enabled the children to be reflective in their own activities and to develop critical thinking. Ultimately education is not just about education for a job, it’s about developing critical citizens.” The research findings showed that: There was a high level of engagement in the workshops by children and teachers. Children talked about changes in the ways that they perceived science and showed a deeper understanding of science concepts. Parents noted their children demonstrated an increasingly positive attitude towards science and that their thinking about the role of science had changed. Children were taught about various art forms in a highly engaging and collaborative way, allowing children to learn about the societal value of the arts and about the importance of collaborating and sharing with others. Teachers were very positive about the benefits of the more open, creative and flexible approach adopted by the science and arts practitioners and stated they were adapting their own teaching styles, to incorporate cross-curricular and more creative and interactive approaches. The research process provided space to consider and develop a theoretical base for BEAST! from the academic literature, linking the project to concepts such as collaboration, creativity, engagement and participation, creative teaching and creative learning. Creativity is a multi-layered concept that involves multiple actors participating in continuous interactive processes of knowledge sharing, learning and engagement. Embedding an ethos of creativity in the curriculum is not a linear or straightforward process. There are numerous barriers to enhanced creativity that include attitudes towards creativity and knowledge, behaviours established practices, time and resources and others that mediate against improving creativity in the curriculum. Paul Collard, CEO from Creativity, Culture and Education in the UK, is guest speaker at the conference: “Without creative skills, problem-solving skills, collaborative skills and a good work ethic young people will not be able to succeed in the world of employment. Now is the time to start thinking about how we reimagine education to put the development of these skills at the heart of the curriculum in order to develop the young people we need, to build the society of tomorrow.” The conference is aimed at parents, teachers and anyone interested in improving levels of confidence, creative and critical thinking and problem solving in primary school children. Speakers at the conference include Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway; Dr Cormac Forkan, NUI Galway; Paul Collard, CEO of Creativity, Culture and Education and Lali Morris and Teenagh Cunningham from Baboró. Delegates will also have an opportunity to meet with pupils, artists, scientists and teachers who took part in the project to see the work they created. Baboró’s BEAST! conference, ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’, takes place on Thursday, 28 May, at the Lifecourse Building, NUI Galway from 10am to 4pm. More info at http://www.baboro.ie/events. Enquiries to the Baboró office on 091 562667 or beast@baboro.ie  The BEAST! project has been funded by NUI Galway, Science Foundation Ireland, The Ireland Funds, Galway City and County Councils and Galway Local Enterprise. -ends-

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