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What triggered Tyndall's Alida Zauers to pursue a Career in STEAM?

Posted on: 10 Jul 2019

What triggered Tyndall's Alida Zauers to pursue a Career in STEAM?
Dr John Murray (centre, holding MEDEA Award statuette) and some previous History of Life student film-makers celebrate their win back in NUI Galway. Front row L-R: Orla Bath-Enright (2014, holding dinosaur skull), Alida Zauers (2015, holding clapperboard)

Communicating science without the jargon is the job of Tyndall’s Alida Zauers who was inspired to pursue a career in #STEAM when she got involved in an award winning film project with the National University of Ireland Galway. The purpose of the film project was deeply rooted in the area of science communication.

Alongside her peers at NUI Galway, Alida contributed to the documentary film as part of her final year of her Earth and Ocean Science's degree. The History of Life film project creatively captures the filming of evolution and was named winner of the MEDEA User-Generated Award. Entries this year were submitted from all over Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, Iran, Morocco, Turkey and the USA. The prestigious MEDEA Awards recognise innovation and excellence in educational media across Europe. 

Dr John Murray (centre, holding MEDEA Award statuette) and some previous History of Life student film-makers celebrate their win back in NUI Galway. Front row L-R: Orla Bath-Enright (2014, holding dinosaur skull), Alida Zauers (2015, holding clapperboard). Middle row L-R: Shane McQuillan (2019), Rebecca O’Connor (2015), Oscar Ryan (2018), Eavan Collins (2014), Weston Harding (2019). Back Row L-R: Bébhinn Anders (2015), James Burns (2019), Seán Wheeler (2014). Photo: Aengus McMahon

Alida explains how this particular academic project marked a milestone in shaping her future career in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths):

“The History of Life film-making project was the first time I was exposed to science communications in my undergraduate degree, which ultimately led me to pursue a career in public engagement and outreach in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). While it was challenging at times, I really enjoyed the entire process from start to finish. It taught me the importance of communicating science without the jargon and helped me realise how crucial communicating science to our peers and the public is. This project is vitally important in preparing students for what lies ahead in their future careers, and I hope it will be adapted and rolled out across all science disciplines in the future.”

The History of Life YouTube channel has over 93,000 views , while the video Alida created with her fellow team mates has generated 38,000 views already on YouTube.

A short film montage of the project, which was premiered at Media & Learning 2019 in Leuven as part of the MEDEA awards is available on the History of Life YouTube Channel.

Tyndall’s Commitment to STEAM
At Tyndall we recognise that our next generation of scientists and engineers come from third level as well as early education such as primary and secondary school. Through engagement activities such as career talks with primary and secondary school students, Transition year work experience programmes, school visits and more, we aim to stimulate curiosity and positive attitudes towards STEAM. Tyndall is a contributor to the Smart Futures Programme, coordinated and managed by Science Foundation Ireland. Smart Futures aims to provide STEAM career resources to students, teachers, guidance counsellors and parents in Ireland and to stimulate an interest in STEAM subjects in secondary school and at third level. To find out how Tyndall can assist your school with driving awareness of STEAM please contact alida.zauers@tyndall.ie