Chalktalk: News and views in education

Elese Doyle from Ballyduff National School, Co Wexford, Naoise Clarke-Carr from Ratoath Junior National School, Co Meath and Ashling Crawte from Ballyduff National School, Co. Wexford, winners in the  Sightsavers Junior Painter Competition

Elese Doyle from Ballyduff National School, Co Wexford, Naoise Clarke-Carr from Ratoath Junior National School, Co Meath and Ashling Crawte from Ballyduff National School, Co. Wexford, winners in the Sightsavers Junior Painter Competition

Tue, Mar 4, 2014, 02:00

n Mini-artists and their families piled into the Science Gallery in Dublin last week for the presentation of awards to the 15 winners of the Sightsavers Junior Painter Awards.

More than 5,000 primary school children entered the competition , with prizes from Art & Hobby and “The Irish Times”. The top prize went to Naoise Clarke-Carr from Ratoath Junior National School, Co Meath, while second and third places went to the same school, Ballyduff National School, Co Wexford, to Ashling Crawte and Elese Doyle . The competition aims to educate children about the challenges facing millions of blind and visually-impaired people in the developing world, through the medium of art . See t he finalists’ paintings at the first floor gallery at Dublin’s Powerscourt Town Centre until March 14th, or at irishtimes.com /education, or sightsavers.ie

n Can pop music help you learn?

Prof Susan Hallam from London’s Institute of Education, who specialises in disaffection from school , ability grouping and music psychology , will speak at the Academy of Popular Music Education Conference in Cork this Saturday. The conference looks at the benefits of pop music for young people, focusing on music education, music technology and the benefits of group learning.

Hallam’s research has focused on the impact of music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people . In adolescence, music contributes to the development of self-identity and is seen as a source of support .

Also at the conference will be David Hayes, musical director of “The Voice of Ireland” and “Riverdance”, to discuss music technology, and John O’Connor of CIT Cork School of Music .

The conference is at the Curtis Auditorium at the CIT Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork , on March 8th . It’s open to the public and should be of interest to parents and teachers. Tickets €10 from eventbrite.ie or on the door.

n International Women’s Day is on Friday, so it’s

good timing: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is seeking applications for its Advance Award programme, to enable women to remain or return to a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Only 26 per cent of researchers in the Irish STEM private sector are women. The Advance Award offers funding up to €175,000 in direct costs for up to two years . To be eligible, a woman must hold a PhD, MD or equivalent. See sfi.ie or contact advance@sfi.ie . And in the same space, interesting to see the appointment of Orla Feely as vice president for research, innovation and impact at UCD.

Feely is chairwoman of the Irish Research Council and professor and subject head of electronic engineering in UCD. She leads a research group in nonlinear circuits and received three successive SFI principal investigator awards. n

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