New Kids’ Science TV show – Is Eolaí Mé

New Kids’ Science TV show – Is Eolaí Mé

I am delighted to tell you that Is Eolaí Mé is starting next Tuesday 20th September, on Cúla 4, TG4, at 17.25pm. It has been almost a year since filming of the show wrapped, you can take a look at my behind the scenes account here. As consultant and script writer on the show, I am extremely excited to be able to finally watch it on TV.

Here is a little preview…

What to expect

Each show will be jam packed with lots of amazing Science. The presenters, Una and Peadar will explore a different theme each week… and explore is definitely the right word to use; they will be out and about finding fun ways that science is used in real life. From rocket launching to surviving an indoor storm and so much more in between. I

Is Eolaí Mé is presented by Peadar Ó Goill & Úna Ní Fhlatharta and produced by Fíbín.

Each week Una will be joined by a group of children, keen to help her roaming reporting on the science topic of the day.


When Peadar is not out testing his endurance skills in the name of science, he will be in his amazing loft lab, testing theories, trying out the latest experiments and even sharing ones to do at home.


Peadar will be joined in his loft by some amazing young scientists who are always up for the adrenaline-pumped science challenge of the day.

Then there are the antics of An t-Ollamh Ullamh and his reluctant side-kick, Aodh, that will definitely add an hilarious comic angle to each programme.

And all that is only the tip of the iceburg, you will be amazed at just how much science is packed into the half-hour programme. So set your alarm clocks, tell your parents and teachers and get ready for kick off next Tuesday! The show will air twice a week, for double the fun; Tuesdays and Thursday at 17.25, and, of course, also available on TG4/Cúla 4 player.

I’ll leave you with this little video… showing Peadar running across a bath of white liquid! How does he do it? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

Check it out… Is Eolaí Mé, every Tuesday and Thursday, 17.25 on Culá 4, TG4. Starting 20th September, 2016.



Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

Netflix Stream Team – a family pick of scifi, history and humour

So far this Irish Summer has been a bit of a washout. As I type, the wind is howling and the rain is sheeting down. We brave it when we can, and, when we can’t, we come up with indoor activities to amuse us. Sometimes though, there is nothing for it but to take out the blankets and turn on Netflix.

Here are some of our viewing recommendations this Summer. I’ve noticed a bit of a trend when comparing the adults choices to the children’s… both seem to include scifi, history and humour – not a bad mix!


Scifi – the  children were delighted to see Guardians of the Galaxy come to Netflix (this movie has a 12s rating) and it has already served them well as a ‘movie night’ option with friends.

Tech – We have introduced a bit more coding in the house this Summer, after a wonderful introduction from Galway’s Coderdojo classes. The children have loved the hour of code and have completed the Minecraft and StarWars challenges. This has sparked their coding imagination, and now they have found Gaming show (in my parents’ garage) they are completely hooked.

Gaming show IMPG

HistoryHorrible Histories is a constant entertainer in this house, even the adults have watched most of the episodes. It is amazing how the children are quoting historic facts, learned from the programme. When they finish the series they just start again from the beginning.

Humour – Apart from the giggles they get from Horrible Histories, the children are also loving the newest series of King Julien. I often pop my head in the room to find three laughing children snuggled on the couch.


Scifi – we stumbled across a scifi film called Push and loved it. It certainly deserves more than the three stars it currently has in the rating. The movie is about people with special powers, some can read minds, see the future, implant memories in people’s heads and move objects with their minds. And when the good guys and the bad guys have similar talents the story line keeps moving at quite a pace.

History – I am lucky if I get near the remote control these nights, since the second series of Marco Polo arrived on Netflix my husband has been binge watching. He is curious about the Mongol empire and enjoys the way the drama is portrayed.

Humour – The full second series of Better Call Saul is now available on Netflix. Although the plot thickens and the story gets a little darker, there is still plenty of the humour that so impressed us from the first series.


Image credit: Ben Leuner/Netflix

Regardless of what we watch, we usually round off the night’s viewing with a good belly-laughing episode of The Big Bang; It is consistently brilliant!


Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team I have received a year’s subscription to Netflix, free of charge, and an Apple TV, for streaming purposes. As part of Netflix Stream Team I will be posting regular updates on what we are watching and what is on offer.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Free on-line Pancake Science Magazine for children

Free on-line Pancake Science Magazine for children

I am very excited to share this latest project with you; this is an idea I have had for a while so I am delighted to have finally finished and published. I really hope you like it and that your junior scientists get plenty of entertainment from this Pancake Science Magazine.

Science Wows Pancake Science Magazine

Have a look through and see what you think, there are experiment ideas and a video link to show you how. It is crammed full of interesting facts… from who made the first pancake to the mathematical formula for the perfect pancake flip.

You’ll also find puzzles and quizzes and a free printable download if you prefer to print them off and let the children test their pancake knowledge. There are also some pancake jokes to entertain you all and Dr. Simple can be found throughout the magazine, a familiar face with a few costume changes!

There is a little colour coding for all the subjects covered, from chemistry to astronomy, to maths. So your kids can just dip in and choose their favourites, if they prefer.

I would really love to hear what you think and how your children find this magazine, if you have a minute to give me any feedback I’d be delighted.

I haven’t shown this to my own kids yet, but I think I have this rainy afternoon’s entertainment sorted now.


Hope you Enjoy!


Need a mobile friendly version? just click here! And this is a separate link to the free printable.

Behind the scenes – Is Eolaí Mé

Behind the scenes – Is Eolaí Mé

Filming of the Is Eolaí Mé series is well under way… and it looks amazing! I got to see the finished set for the first time last Monday morning, and it was even better than I imagined. Peadar, the presenter, has been working his way through the science curriculum and so far we have managed not to blow anything up, but the experiments are certainly entertaining the whole crew!

Peadar has been joined, each day, by some really enthusiastic young scientists who have helped him with demonstrations, facts, experiments and, of course, the adrenalin fuelled “Science Challenges”.

Do you want a sneak peek?…


Almost ready to begin!



Matt, the man who can “build anything”, makes a few last minute adjustments!



Peadar takes a quick break, after another successful experiment.



Getting ready for another challenge… wonder what this one will be?



The pigs were a big hit!

There is so much more to share… but I guess you will just have to wait for it to air.  It will be a great aid for teachers and classrooms as well as a really fun show to watch at home.


Is Eolaí Mé is a new children’s science programme produced by Meangadh Fibín to be aired in 2016 on Cúla 4, TG4.


Reel Life Science Video Competition for Schools

Reel Life Science Video Competition for Schools

Schools, children, parents, teachers… listen up! There is a great competition (by Reel Life Science) running at the moment where pupils from both primary and secondary schools are invited to make a three minute science video with a chance to win €1000 for their school.

The competition is a wonderful way to get pupils, their schools, and families interested in Science from a new perspective… from behind the video lens. Launched last year in Galway the competition was so successful it has now gone nationwide!




The competition is broken down into a number of different categories so there is a lot of scope to develop and document your own favourite scientific topic.



  • ‘The Power of Science’
  • ‘The Food we Eat’
  • ‘Science in the Garden’
  • ‘Our Marine World’
  • ‘The Science of Exercise’



  • ‘Science Heroes’
  • ‘Exploring the Cell’
  • ‘Medicines’
  • ‘Physics in Real Life’
  • ‘Vision’ in partnership with VISICORT

If you need some inspiration there have been a number of guest posts from professionals in each area sharing some of their research or opinions on each topic. You can check them out here.

There is even a post from Dr. How’s Science Wows to help inspire you on the topic of Science in the Garden. However, I enlisted the help of some resident “experts” so you may find it more humorous than inspiring. Check it out here if you want to see what happens when you combine “mischief” and science!

This is a fantastic opportunity and is a very unique competition in Ireland, so please spread the word and get your school or classroom involved.


You can check out the Reel Life Science website for tips, advice and guidelines or follow them on twitter and facebook to keep up to date!

Science Wows takes a holiday – and leaves you with some travel tips (not for the faint hearted)

It is holiday time in the Science Wows house today. Hopefully, while you are reading this I will be jetting off to somewhere nice and sunny for a bit of R&R and to soak up those rays (Sunscreen packed of course!)

The first half of our summer holidays has gone really well so far, despite a bumpy start. The four year old assumed the holidays from school also meant we were about to hop on a plane to foreign lands and was quite put out when that didn’t turn out to be the case.

He got over it soon enough, but there is no denying his enthusiasm. He chose his suitcase months ago and has had it stashed under his bed ever since. When the “week to the holiday” whistle was blown he decided it was time to pack. His brother joined in too and it was the best morning long activity of the whole summer so far. The only issue I would have with it is the content of their suitcases.

Here is an example of what they packed…

  • Chess set X 1 (this has now been moved to the hand luggage!)
  • Moshi monsters X 1,000 (I may be rounding it off but that gives a pretty good estimate)
  • Loom bands X 1,000 (and NO that is not me exaggerating again!)
  • Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (this alone has probably used up the entire Ryan air luggage weight quota – but apparently it is an essential for travelling to anywhere foreign)

 Spot anything missing from their suitcases? That’s right… clothes! Who needs them, apparently!

As part of this lovely linky over at Colorines Wonderful I have been inspired to share with you some tips on travelling with children. I have kept this one to the air-travel side of things!

  • The first one is obvious… don’t let your children pack their own suitcases 😉
  • Keep it light and simple! I used to think I had the hand luggage sorted, covering every option, every food group, every recreational preference. All I really had was over packed bags and a sore shoulder from all the weight. Have you ever tried to retrieve a scattered set of colouring pencils from under the seat of a plane?
  • This leads nicely on to the next tip, once your children are old enough GET THEM TO CARRY THEIR OWN HAND LUGGAGE! They will quickly ditch all those extras!
  • Travel days are not the time to worry about their five a day! I used to pack all the healthy food stuff but it really just means you are trying to cover up the dried fruit and bread sticks mashed into the aeroplane seat! Once they are not filling on e-numbers and lots of fizzy drinks then its a good day to chill and ignore regular meal times and nutritional content.
  • Don’t underestimate how long a child can take in the toilet when you really need to get moving. Try to get this business out of the way WELL before the flight even boards! I am sure there must be a mathematical formula out there proving how the speed of the child’s bodily functions is inversely proportional to the amount of time you have to dash to the boarding gate and smile sweetly at the irate air staff who have called you by name because you are THAT late!
  • When on the plane REMEMBER TO BREATH! The more relaxed you are, the calmer your children will be… and the less likely they will be to spend the entire journey kicking the seat in front of them!
  • If you are travelling with a baby… your entire hand luggage should only consist of spare changes of clothing. Bring three times more nappies than you can ever imagine needing. You would not believe what those altitudes can do to a child’s digestive system but you are likely to find out as well as learning how hard it is to change a baby in an aeroplane toilet! And yes, I am definitely speaking from experience on this one!
  • Once the flight is over NEVER ask another parent how they got on! They may be in denial and make you feel even worse than you already do!
  • Finally, once you have all the luggage collected and children corralled you can start to smile again and relax. Unless you have yet to collect the rental car; In that case we go right back to …REMEMBER TO BREATH!

After reading all this you may want to check out the other posts in the linky, for some more realistic, and optimistic tips and advice 🙂

In the meantime enjoy your summer holidays, whatever you are doing or wherever you are going and I will be back here very soon to WOW you with some more scientific takes on every day life.

Until we meet again this is what I will be at…

scientists on vacation

Fun Friday – Magnets Part 2… learning about the compass and another great game

Fun Friday – Magnets Part 2… learning about the compass and another great game

We can’t get enough of magnets in this house it seems! Last week we shared one of our favourite games and this week it is all about how the compass works, how to make one and another great game to try!


Who invented the first compass


The ancient Greeks knew about lodestone, an iron rich rock that was naturally magnetic. The Chinese are credited with discovering that loadstone would always point towards North if suspended to allow it turn freely. A Chinese Scientist called Shen Kua described the first magnetic needle compass in 1088 AD; his experiments with suspended strips of magnetised iron showed how the strip always points North and how this could be used in navigation.

The arrival of the compass modernised navigation and travel, especially by sea. Before the compass, sailors relied on navigation by the stars but this was tricky on a cloudy night!

Did you know… sailors were forbidden to eat onion or garlic as their breath was thought to interfere with the compass needle?


How to make your own compass


Make your own compass
Make your own compass

You will need… a circle of paper, a needle, a magnet and a bowl of water.

What to do… thread the needle through the circle of paper so that nearly all the needle lies on one side of the paper (see below). Stroke the needle 30 times in one direction with one end of a strong magnet.  Lift the magnet between strokes. Float the circle of paper on top of the water in the bowl (needle side up).  The paper should spin around slowly for a few moments and then stop.  The needle should now be pointing North-South.  You can confirm this with a compass if you wish!
So what is happening? The needle contains little particles of iron that are all jumbled up.  When the needle is stroked with the magnet it makes all the iron particles align in the same direction (North-South); the needle is temporarily magnetised!


A really fun game to keep the children entertained


You will need
You will need…


You will need…. some non see through cups or bowls, some treats or treasure to find, a compass, a notepad and a pen.

Setting it up… this is an easy game but it does require a little setting up before you let the children loose! Place the cups (upturned) all around the garden, hiding a treat underneath a few of them. One treat per child.

Decide on a starting point. Map out a route for each child starting at that point and walking X steps North/South/East or West.

Map a different route for each child to a different cup containing the treasure, here is an example…

take 3 steps North

take 3 steps East

take 11 steps North

take 14 steps West

take 5 steps South

take 10 steps East

take 11 steps West


You can make is as long and winding as you like. Remember to get an idea of each child’s step length before you start! Once you have prepared a route for each child you can call them out and let the fun begin.

Each child starts at the same point and needs to follow the instructions given to them, using the compass for direction! Once the instructions run out the child lifts the nearest cup to (hopefully) reveal their prize.

All ready at the starting point!
All ready at the starting point!

This game is great for teaching children direction, learning how to follow instructions, read a compass and how to work as a team, if you change the rules to teams instead of individuals.


The beauty of this game is that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like, adjusting each set of instructions to a child’s age so children of different ages can get involved.

Lots of fun for all ages
Lots of fun for all ages

My children are ten, eight and four and they really loved this, we have plans to make it bigger and better next time!

Whatever way you play it I hope you enjoy!


Fun Friday – Magnets Part 1… a favourite magnet game

Fun Friday – Magnets Part 1… a favourite magnet game

We love magnets in this house. Some rainy days my children like to take out my box of magnets and are happy to play away with them for hours. Recently I brought my magnet collection along to local Beavers Club for the children to explore and learn… and play some great magnet games. This game was a favourite so I thought I would share it with you!

Before you start this game you might want to let the children explore how magnets work, how they attract or repel each other and how all magnets have two sides, a North and a South. Explain the invisible magnetic forces at play. Check out this post on magnets before you get started!


“Herding sheep” magnet game


You will need...
You will need…


For this game you will need some magnets* (two per player), a table, some cotton balls and some duct tape or masking tape.

*We used torpedo magnets for this but any magnets will do once they can attract each other through the table… so the choice of table is important. Wood is good, or plastic, but thin and without many/any crossbeams or bars underneath. We used a light chipboard wallpapering table.



The Set Up...
The Set Up…


 Set Up:


Using the tape mark a starting line at one end of the table and a box with a small opening at the other end; this is the “sheep’s pen”.

Place one magnet from each pair on top of the table and the other under the table… the magnet under the table should be held in place by it’s attraction to the magnet above. Each child is designated a pair of magnets, these represent the sheep dogs.

Place the cotton balls (these are the sheep) behind the starting line.



The aim of the game:


The aim of the game is that the children must “herd” the sheep along the table and into the “pen” at the other end. They can only move the “sheep dog” by moving the magnet under the table! The children keep going until all the sheep are transferred to the pen.

You can use a timer for this game if you wish. Time how long each team takes or get a group of children to try again and see if they can beat their previous time.




Ready-Steady-Go… let the fun begin! I have yet to meet a child (or adult) who does not get totally engrossed in this game!

Here is a game in action in our house…


Let the fun begin!
Let the fun begin!


 What do they learn?


This game is great for children’s fine motor skills and coordination, it also teaches children to work as a team. Children learn about the attractive forces between magnets. You can follow on this game by asking the children if they think the magnets would still be attracted through other materials… paper, plastic, glass?


Make it your own:


Once the children get the idea of the game they will probably come up with their own modifications. What else could you try? Adding obstacles along the route? trying magnets of different shapes and strengths? Changing the number of sheep? What about replacing the top magnet with something metal?

The only limit to this game is the child’s imagination… which is usually limitless! I hope you enjoy!

What would you alter? If you come up with a different way to play this game please do let me know!



Eh... which way is North?
Eh… which way is North?



Next week we will share another favourite game and learn a little about compasses too, so see you next Friday for Part 2!

Interview Series – Science Wows talk to Jason Tammemägi about creating and producing children’s animation

This post is the first in a new interview series looking at Science and Nature communication through different media in Ireland

I really enjoy using different media to communicate Science and Nature topics to people of all ages. I am always very interested in how others communicate in these fields and the methods they use.  I have come across many people who have really caught my interest… their subject, medium and most of all their passion for what they do.
Through this series of interviews I hope to explore how different individuals work in their specialised area, provide a sense of what a career in their chosen field is like and above all, express their passion for what they do and why!To kick off this interview series I spoke with Jason Tammemägi.

Image Credit: Jason Tammemagi

Jason is a writer, creator and director of many well known children’s television programs.  The creative mind behind such favourites as Fluffy Garden, Roobarb and Custard Too, Ballybradden and, more recently, Planet Cosmo, Jason’s work is familiar to us all.I was delighted to get an insight into the various aspects of Jason’s work and how he uses the
creative media of cartoon and animation to communicate with children.

Hi Jason and thank you so much for agreeing to take part in this interview series.  I have always believed that you can communicate any topic to children if you just present it in the right way and that is why Planet Cosmo really caught my eye.  Moreover it caught the eye of my three year old son, Rohan and when he started to remember and repeat the information he learned from each episode I realised how well it appealed to his young mind.

Before I get into the details of what makes such a program so successful I would love to learn a little more about you and what lead you to this career;

How did you start off on a career as a writer and cartoonist…what path did you take? What training was required?
I actually arrived at cartoons via science. I was studying physics, chemistry and maths but, while I have always loved physics, things just didn’t click for me at university level and then someone told me about an animation course. Well, I didn’t even know animation was something you could do for living – nobody had told me! I had been drawing all my life and loved stories so I applied and I got in. Within a week or two I knew this was what I wanted to do.
I studied animation for three years and that’s how I got into cartoons. From there, I worked my way up and moved to directing, designing, writing and creating. With most of those, it was just a case of trying them and then doing everything I could to get better. The initial animation training was the beginning of that journey.
Is this something you always wanted to do?
I had never decided to be an animator as a child. I really didn’t know what I wanted to be.
If you look back to your childhood, is it obvious to you now that this career was a likely path for you?
Yes, it makes so much sense now. As a child, I loved to draw, I loved to tell stories, to create and that’s exactly what I get to do now. I just didn’t know as a child that it was real job.
As I mentioned, Planet Cosmo is a big hit in this family, not only for my three year old; his older siblings (nine and seven) really enjoyed it as well.
Where did you get the idea for Planet Cosmo?
I was looking for good ways to teach my daughter about space. She was about three and was really taking an interest but I just couldn’t find the right book or show aimed at her level. I know how important it is to feed interests in children or they quickly move on. So I decided to make a show for children about space. A way to entertain them, make them laugh and sing along while also giving them real facts about the planets because, for me, that’s what’s amazing: these are real!
Which do you create first… the characters or the theme?
The theme came first. I had the mission. From there, it took quite some time to find just what the show would be and who the characters would be. Early on, it was about a little robot boy, his sister and their dog and it evolved from there. Cosmo became a girl, the sidekick became her Dad and a family was created around them.
How many people are involved in a project like Planet Cosmo?
It takes quite a few people to make a show like Planet Cosmo but maybe not as many as you might think. We had a core team of around ten people I think but then there were many others who made important contributions along the way. Everyone who touched the project added something of their own and it would never quite be the same without them.
From the first idea to seeing the final product on screen, how long does a project like Planet Cosmo take?
With Planet Cosmo, I think it took over three years and that wouldn’t be unusual. It can take a long time to pull a television show together and then get it made. There are highs and lows in there and the certainty of the show is never guaranteed. So it’s always a special feeling when the show finally hits the screens. It’s a real success to even get a show made at all and even better when you find out afterwards that children love it and it’s really helping bring space to a lot of households.


I really liked how Planet Cosmo managed to engage and capture the imagination of its audience while teaching quite a complex material in a very simple way. 
How did you manage to target the program to the preschool audience so well?
Well preschool is really my area. I love how open to ideas preschool children are and I love what entertains them and what they find amazing so I have done a huge amount of work and research into that area. Before making Planet Cosmo, I made 80 episodes of Fluffy Gardens among other things so, when it came to making this show, I had an idea what I doing. But I’m also fortunate enough to have two young daughters. When I began creating the show, my eldest daughter was right in the middle of my target age group. By the time the show was finished, my youngest daughter was there so I always had a preschool child to test ideas on.
Do you test your ideas on your intended audience at different stages of production?
Yes, it is easy to get lost in a project and lose sight of those who matter: the audience. So I found it important all the way through to check and test and see what works and what doesn’t. The best way to do that is to show the work to children. They don’t fake their reactions and they know better than anyone when it’s right or wrong.


I know that you are fond of getting involved in every step of a project from creation to development and production;
Can you give us an idea of what is involved at each step?
There are so many stages in making a television show and they’re all so different. The beginning is creation: ideas, characters, stories. It is all very free and very creative but then requires focus and hard work to bring it all together into something that can really be a show. You then have to pitch the show and convince others that it’s a good idea in order to get it made. That can be a tough process and it is always a real test of just how strong the show is.
If you’re successful and the show goes ahead, then you are into preproduction (getting everything ready for the show – designs, writing and so on) and then production (the actual animation). The writing is incredibly important because it really sets the template for everything that happens afterwards. You need a fun, strong story or the rest of it doesn’t really matter. But once you have a good story, great animation and great sound can turn it into something wonderful. And yes, I tend to be involved with every part of production and count myself fortunate that I can do that. I think it brings a real sense of identity to a show.
What is a typical day like for you…. Or is there such a thing?
How my day is depends on what stage a project is at. I write at home, for example. I need the peace and I get asked far too many questions in a studio! So writing is peaceful and quiet and I do lots of walking around to let ideas swirl in my head before getting them down on the page. Whereas in production, I’m in a studio and it’s all so busy. I usually start very early and make my to-do lists and get a head start on everything I have to do that day. Then once the studio gets going, there is so much to check – going through storyboards to make sure the story is being told well visually, timing them into videos that set up the whole episode, checking animation scenes, checking how they flow when put together and then working on effects to get the final episodes together. At any one time, there are many episodes in various stages of production so there is always a lot to do and the important thing is to keep track of the overall stories because, in production, everything is split off into smaller parts.
So a typical production day is busy!
What are you working on at the moment?
I am making an app for kids right now and that’s pretty exciting. It hasn’t been announced yet so I can’t say too much about it but it is going to be fun. I am also developing a couple of new concepts and helping some people out on their own projects. So right now, things are very busy and I will be announcing some of these new projects soon.
You have worked in this area for more than 15 years and have generated a number of other projects and programs. 
Can you tell us a little about some of your favour projects to date?
Planet Cosmo is really the show I always wanted to make. It sparks an interest in space and, with it, science and it does so with lots of humour and songs and, for a large part, it’s a science fiction show based around science fact and I love science fiction. It was so much fun to write and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. So that show will be hard to top for me! But Fluffy Gardens will always have a special place in my heart and I know each and every one of those characters so well. It’s a part of me and I still think to this day that the Fluffy Gardens Christmas Special is one of the best things I ever made. It has been shown here every Christmas Day since it was made and I love it every time. It’s just so Christmassy.
Of the other shows I have worked on, well, Roobarb and Custard would be a favourite. It was such an honour to work on that show and to work with its creator, Grange Calveley, and the late great Richard Briers.
Of all the characters you have created do you have a favourite among them and if so why?
It is so hard to pick a favourite. Cosmo’s Dad is probably the most fun to write and I really love him because he has a lot of different sides. His silly side is obvious and that makes him very funny but he’s also a good Dad and he’s a good pilot so he has strengths too. He has these little warm moments of fatherhood that I can really relate to myself no matter how silly he is. I will always have a soft spot for Mavis the Pony in Fluffy Gardens too though.
Who is your target audience or does that change for each project?
Most of my work has been for preschool children, although not all (Ballybraddan was for older kids and Managing the Universe was for teens). With preschool, which is the area I really specialise in, I tend to pick a slightly different core age group for each project because a two-year-old is very different to five-year-old even though they all come under the heading ‘preschool’. So Planet Cosmo was aimed at a slightly older preschool child than Fluffy Gardens. I love sticking with preschool but I tend to shift focus within that depending on the project.
From my viewpoint Science communication is on the rise in this Country, with children becoming more and more the target audience;
How do you see this developing in the future and would you like to be involved in another science based project for children?
I think if you’re aiming for real positive change, you start by inspiring the children. Not all children will be interested in everything and that’s perfectly okay but you have to give them the chance. Feed the interest while it’s there or they just move on and forget about it. So I love to give children something that is fun first and enjoyable while also expanding their options and introducing them to new ideas. Science is amazing and exciting and covers so many areas that there is lots to explore for children and plenty of areas of science that can make for wonderful entertainment. And for children, I see one of the main ideas behind science being so important for all aspects of their lives as they grow: ask questions, challenge and look deeper. So I see this getting bigger and more important and, yes, I have no doubt I will be involved in more science-based projects in the future.


And the final word…
What is the best thing about what you do?
I get to make children smile and laugh. And I usually get to give them something positive in the process. I’m not sure it gets better than that!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of a career in your area?
Create. Draw or write or both and keep doing it. See the world around you, how it is and how it works and then plug that into your imagination and see what comes out the other side. From there, find out about college courses in the specific areas you would like to be involved in and try to get in and work at the things that really inspire you. And remember that there are many different paths. The one you start on doesn’t have to be the one you end up on so try to be open about how you get to where you want to be.
What would be your ideal project for the future?
I count myself fortunate enough that I have already been given the chance to make my ideal projects. So from here, I want to deliver better. More smiles and laughs and content that might just make a real positive difference not just for children, but for the adults they will one day become.
Thought of the day – " A questioning mind"

Thought of the day – " A questioning mind"

From the moment I get up in the morning the questions start rolling…. the three year old is going through a “what happens if” phase with an alarmingly gruesome theme these days; “Mammy, what will happen if your eye ball falls out and you stand on it and squash it?” is just one of his recent gems!  Before I have even had my morning cuppa I have attempted to answer a fair whack of questions.  The process continues throughout the day… from the back of the car, while we do the shopping, during meals and all the way through to bedtime… he can literally fall asleep mid question!

But why the incessant bombardment of questions?…

"Mammy, what will happen if...?"
“Mammy, what will happen if…?”

There are over 100 billion cells in the brain of a newborn child.  These cells need to start forming networks and connections with each other or else they will be “deleted” by the body in favour of more active cells .  It is the child’s interaction with its surroundings and its social contact that greatly influence the amount of connections made within its brain.

The brain of a three year old is two times more active than that of an adult!


By the age of three the child is often actively developing its ability to think and question what is happening around it in every aspect of life!  This is when the real deluge of questions come! This phase of heightened questioning supposedly lasts until the child is about ten years old.  So I am blessed with three children in this busy questioning stage of life.
As exhausting as it may be, listening, answering and encouraging these questions is highly important to the development of the child’s brain…. it literally “Lights it up!”  I think it is equally important to promote this questioning so that the child develops it as a habit they carry with them right through life!  If you were to think of some of the scientific greats, who pops into mind…. Da Vinci, Darwin, Einstein, Newton maybe?  Now would you say their work has left an impression on you because of their ability to learn or their sensation for questioning?  Newton, at the age of 19 abandoned the norms of college learning and instead set himself a list of 15 questions that he explored for the rest of his life!
Questioning Minds - Einstein, Newton, Darwin and DaVinci.... notic any common feature? (hint - the hair)
Questioning Minds – Einstein, Newton, Darwin and DaVinci…. notic any common feature? (hint – the hair)
Interestingly, I find that my own ability to question life has been greatly enhanced since my children were born.  I consider this a blessing and hope to continue learning how to question as they do.  However, there are times, I must admit, when the answer to one of their questions is “just because!”… well I am only human!

…. just a thought!