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Carrigaline Girls Help Launch Space Programme

Carrigaline girls help launch Irish Girl Guides' Space programme.



Girl Guides from Carrigaline helped launch Irish Girl Guides' innovative new Space programme that will see girls from age five plus take part in a variety of Space-themed activities.

The girls from Carrigdhoun Ladybirds, Brownies and Guides took part in a launch photo shoot at Blackrock Castle Observatory (BCO) with Frances McCarthy, who is Education and Outreach Officer at BCO and a volunteer Leader with Irish Girl Guides (IGG) in Carrigaline.

Frances played a key role in compiling the Space programme with award-winning Space communicator, Dr Niamh Shaw, who was IGG's Ambassador 2019-2020. “The Space programme includes a range of activities that are guaranteed to appeal to children of all ages," says Frances. "These include rocket-building, stargazing, solar system walks and looking for the International Space Station in the night sky. Older girls will also learn about Irish women working in the Space sector and will be challenged to make a model moon base out of recycled materials. We hope that, by doing these activities, girls will not only be enthused about Space but might consider a career in STEM.”



Frances and the girls also took part in a video filmed at BCO that was shown during the online launch of the Space programme. The launch, which was MC-d by Carrigdhoun Guide Leader, Aisling Claffey, included Dr Shaw and special guest Dr Kate Isaak, who is an astrophysicist currently working as a Project Scientist with the European Space Agency. Both Dr Shaw and Dr Isaak are former Girl Guides. A recording of the launch may be viewed on the Irish Girl Guides' YouTube channel. 

Dr Niamh Shaw says that, on accepting the role of Ambassador with IGG, she was keen to add a Space badge to IGG’s already wide-ranging programme of activities and challenges for girls and young women. “Being the Irish Girl Guides Ambassador was such a privilege,” she said. “I got the opportunity to meet with youth members and volunteers and find out about them as well as to chat about Space, dreaming big and all the technology and science required to explore and protect our planet Earth.

“I set myself a goal to establish a Space badge packed with Space-themed activities about our planet and our place in Space. Working with Frances McCarthy at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and adapting the science, technology engineering & maths (STEM) activities included in the ESERO Ireland archive, we achieved just that!

“It’s a fantastic end to a terrific year with Irish Girl Guides,” she continued, “And I’m so proud that, through this collaboration of women involved in Space, we made it happen. That’s what Space Week and International Day of the Girl is all about too!”

The space-themed activities for children and young people are available for anyone to download from the Irish Girl Guides website www.irishgirlguidesi.e - and ESERO Ireland website – www.esero.ie.

Irish Girl Guides welcomes new youth members from age 5-30 and volunteer Leaders from age 18+. No previous Guiding experience is necessary and training and ongoing support is provided. To find out more, see www.irishgirlguides.ie or tel: 01 6683898.

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