Exploring the fun of science at Abbott family day

Ninety pupils in the Sisters of Charity primary school and St. Mary’s CBS and their parents were treated to a fun evening of interactive science experiments as 20 volunteers from Abbott’s Clonmel facility hosted Tipperary’s third annual Family Science event.

Ninety pupils in the Sisters of Charity primary school and St. Mary’s CBS and their parents were treated to a fun evening of interactive science experiments as 20 volunteers from Abbott’s Clonmel facility hosted Tipperary’s third annual Family Science event.

The Family Science evening, while being great fun, has a serious mission - to let parents and children work together and explore the ways in which science and engineering play a role in daily our lives.

Ultimately, the Abbott volunteers hope that by hosting these events more young people will be inspired to pursue a career in science.

The Abbott Family Science programme is a unique initiative which is conducted with the support of Abbott’s philanthropic foundation the Abbott Fund.

Since 2009, more than 2,000 students and parents have taken part in Abbott Science Education Programme events throughout Ireland.

The success of the programme can be seen in a post-programme survey which found that 99 percent of parents would recommend the Family Science Programme to another family.

Eighty-two percent of parents questioned agreed that they were now likely to discuss careers in science and engineering with their children, compared to just 37 percent of respondents prior to the programme.

Ger Cronin, Divisional Vice President, Abbott Clonmel said - “By fostering science and invention at the earliest possible age, Abbott hopes to engage Irish school children with science and help them to understand how science is infused in their daily lives.

Through practical experiments the Family Science programme makes science fun for children and teaches them to think about the science behind everyday tasks and objects.

“Ireland has a proud history in science and engineering. Indeed Irish scientists are responsible for pioneering work which continues to influence our lives today.

Carlow born John Tyndall (1839 – 1893), for example, invented the light pipe which later led to the development of fibre optics while Tipperary born JD Bernal (1901 – 1971) developed the technique of modern x-ray crystallography.

Family Science encourages our next generation of budding scientists.

One day we may have an Irish scientist winning the Nobel Laureate for Science and pointing to an evening in Clonmel when their interest in science was sparked at an Abbott Family Science event.”

“Science and innovation is at the core of Abbott’s business in Ireland. We want to promote a better understanding of science, and the dynamic and challenging careers a science qualification can yield.

Approximately half the company’s employees are third level graduates, many with science backgrounds and more than 120 people with Ph.D.s are employed by Abbott in Ireland.

There are great opportunities for science graduates, not only in Ireland, but also abroad. We are delighted to share our knowledge and experience with teachers, parents and pupils of the Sisters of Charity primary school and St. Mary’s CBS.

The evening has been a great success and we all enjoy our annual family science event very much,” he added.

Ireland was the first location outside of the U.S. to conduct these science programmes.

Due to the success in Ireland, the programmes have now been implemented by Abbott in China, Germany, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea and the UK. In the coming year, the Abbott Science Education Programmes will be extended to all 13 sites where Abbott has manufacturing sites and commercial operations around Ireland.

In addition to Abbott Family Science, Abbott’s Operation Discovery programme offers secondary school students an opportunity to work hands-on with scientists in Abbott’s onsite labs to witness the fascinating world of science and discovery.

Students undertake experiments and use tools and procedures routinely employed by Abbott scientists in laboratories around Ireland.