STEM lesson plan kits suitable for 5th and 6th class students have been developed by primary school teachers in collaboration with CÚRAM researchers. 

Dr Sarah Gundy, Project Officer, NUI Galway

Dr. Sarah Gundy, Project Officer, NUI Galway

Resources from CÚRAM’s very successful Teachers in Residence programme have been adapted to support teachers delivering STEM education online over the coming months.

These lesson plan kits are suitable for 5th and 6th class students. They have been developed by primary school teachers in collaboration with CÚRAM researchers, and they link with the primary science curriculum.

Five comprehensive lesson plan presentations are available, supplemented by downloadable lesson plans. In addition, CÚRAM’s researchers, led by Dr Sarah Gundy, are offering their own ‘Ask a Scientist’ session to primary school classes in collaboration with their teachers, either via email or as part of an online session.

Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM

Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway.

Prof Abhay Pandit commented:
“We are very conscious of the difficulties faced by parents and teachers trying to continue to deliver quality content in a completely new format. We would like to offer these ready-to-use resources that deal with a very relevant and topical area of research to support the huge efforts being made by parents and teachers in a very challenging time.”

Pre-recorded lesson plan presentations include:


Healing the Heart

Learn basic heart anatomy, how a heart attack occurs, and how to keep their hearts healthy. Follow up activities include a construct a large diagram of the heart which can be used to play “Heart Twister” at home!

Mending the Musculoskeletal System

Learn about bones, muscles, and tendons, and how doctors currently treat damage to these tissues. Follow up activities show how to construct a model hand and act as a surgeon to fix a tendon using a Biomedical Engineering Kit from material you have at home.

Fixing the Brain

Learn how nerves send and receive messages and the causes of Parkinson’s disease. Students can build their own medical devices to treat Parkinson’s disease and test the devices by making jelly “brains” at home.

Exploring Stem Cells

Learn about how stem cells are used by animals to heal their bodies. Students build model animals using cells made from playdough and fix their injured animals by using playdough stem cells or building prosthetic devices.

What are Biomaterials?

Learn about medical devices and natural and synthetic sources of biomaterials. Students can make their own biomaterials at home (using slime!) to fix soft tissues.

To register your interest in the resources, or to simply book an ‘Ask a Scientist’ session for your class, please contact [email protected].

Bite-Sized Science

In addition to teaching resources, CÚRAM has also added ‘Bite-Sized Science activities on their website. Bite-Sized Science offers quick, uncomplicated science activities for teachers or parents to share with children at home.

The focus of this resource is on generating excitement for science without asking too much of already time-pressured parents. Each activity can be completed with just a small bit of help for younger children (JI-2nd class) and independently for older children (3rd-6th class).

Care is being taken to select engaging activities that can be completed with the simplest of ingredients and materials, using everyday items found in most homes, and plenty of recyclables.

Look out for new activities every Tuesday and Thursday over the coming months.

For children who take an especially keen interest, links will be provided that will allow them to delve a little deeper into the science behind the experiment. See http://www.curamdevices.ie/curam/public-engagement/artists-in-residence/bite-sizedscience/

CÚRAM’s public engagement programme is also adapting in the short term, given the requirement for social distancing, and will be moving many of our public engagement interactions to virtual platforms where possible.

Some of the content has been supplied to RTÉ for the excellent ‘School at Home’ initiative and a new ‘Bite-Sized Science’ has been launched on CÚRAM website in addition to the ‘Home School Resources’ page to provide simple, educational and fun activities for younger audiences to engage with STEM at home.

For the latest updates and links you can follow CÚRAM on Twitter @CÚRAMdevices and at CÚRAM website www.curamdevices.ie.