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  • Northside West

Local kids star in science books

Saturday, 3rd November, 2018 9:00am
Local kids star in science books

Abhinav and Anoushka Sathiaseelan from Ongar helped create and feature in the series of books.

Local kids star in science books

Abhinav and Anoushka Sathiaseelan from Ongar helped create and feature in the series of books.

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GLASNEVIN’S Lauren Boyd Smith along with siblings Anoushka and Abhinav Sathiaseelan from Ongar in Dublin 15 are set to play starring roles in a national series of science books that they have had a huge hand in designing.

The three locals are members of Ireland’s most influential young people’s group, The Wonder Panel, who have been working on the four Science Apprentice books for the past five months.

The primary school age advisors have worked with the Science Apprentice team to form the questions and answers that make the books invaluable to Irish schoolchildren – and they even get to appear in the books themselves.

Home-schooled Anoushka and Abhinav were recruited through a national competition by University College Dublin which was looking for what it terms ‘stretchy thinkers’ – children full of wonder who enjoy figuring things out.

“Because we’re home schooled our routine is different from most kids, but we love to read and learn and play during the day,” said Abhinav (11).

“I do a lot of science, including cooking – which is all about changing ingredients into dishes through physics and chemistry.”

Anoushka also loves science, and has a special interest in Lego.

“I love reading and playing with Lego as well as drawing and playing tennis,” the nine-year-old said.

“The most interesting thing about being involved in The Wonder Panel was being able to help edit the books, giving ideas and explaining what was interesting from a kid’s point of view.”

Lauren from Scoil Chaitriona joined the Wonder Panel in April this year after she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Her mum is part of the team who created the books and Lauren joined The Wonder Panel to highlight the importance of medical devices that help people manage their diabetes.

“I was excited to take part in the Wonder Panel, and especially the Superbodies book, because I use technology as part of my body,” said Lauren.

“I have a sensor attached to my arm and I use it to scan my blood glucose levels.”

Lauren is highly enthusiastic about the way her state-of-the-art sensor and scanner allows her to avoid the need for regular prick tests to measure her blood glucose levels.

“I’ve had the sensor for six months now, so it’s still new to me.

“My friends all think I’m a cyborg, which is pretty cool.”

The Science Apprentice books will encourage children and adults alike to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics of the world around us.

Throughout the new four-part series readers follow characters Izzy and Phil and the wonder panellists on an interactive journey exploring the human body, our environment, how things are made and why everything is not always as it seems.

The books - Superbodies, Up In The Air, Illusion and How It’s Made - are produced by University College Dublin and partners and supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and the Environmental Protection Agency.

This series has been also co-produced by schoolchildren around the country through interactive workshops and discovery tours.

Irish experts are on hand explaining concepts and answering questions as we delve into big ideas that are improving our lives.

The books all contain Augmented Reality elements that have been created by the team at the Virtual Reality Lab in University College Dublin.

Written by science journalist and writer Dr Claire O’Connell, the books are designed to open children’s minds to a world full of exciting potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Science Apprentice books are available to order for schools and are free to collect with the Irish Independent in SuperValu stores every Saturday in November.

Lauren Boyd-Smith will be starring in the Science Apprentice series of books.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here