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  • Southside

Irish space explorer to blaze a trail for adventurous Girl Guides

Thursday, 18th April, 2019 7:59am
Irish space explorer to blaze a trail for adventurous Girl Guides

Dr Niamh Shaw is pictured with Irish Girl Guides Kate Walsh (8) of Rathfarnham, Orla O’Brien (9) of Ballyroan Brownies, Rhea Malone (11) of Rathfarnham Guides, and Emily Rowe (15) of Rathfarnham Senior Branch.

Irish space explorer to blaze a trail for adventurous Girl Guides

Dr Niamh Shaw is pictured with Irish Girl Guides Kate Walsh (8) of Rathfarnham, Orla O’Brien (9) of Ballyroan Brownies, Rhea Malone (11) of Rathfarnham Guides, and Emily Rowe (15) of Rathfarnham Senior Branch.

THE award-winning space explorer and science communicator, Niamh Shaw, is set to blaze a trail for Irish Girl Guides (IGG) over the course of the next 12 months. 

Dr Shaw lives in Blackrock and describes herself as an Irish engineer, scientist, artist, performer, space explorer and award-winning science communicator.

She has a passion to ignite curiosity about space and the world around us, and was named Honorary Ambassador at IGG’s annual council meeting held in Tallaght on April 6.

Dr Shaw was chosen in recognition of the trail she has blazed for girls and women in Ireland.

IGG President Maureen Murphy said IGG members were excited to have Dr Shaw as the organisation’s new Ambassador.

“She has stated her wish to ignite people’s curiosity and has a big dream to travel in space,” said Ms Murphy. “Niamh has already met some of our members at the First Lego League finals in Dublin City University.

“Guiding is about providing new experiences and challenges to enable each girl to reach her own potential in today’s world, so Niamh is a very appropriate role model, inspirer and Honorary Ambassador.”

Dr Shaw, who is Dublin-based but regularly travels to Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork where she is artist-in-residence, is particularly interested in encouraging girls and women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

This ties in nicely with IGG’s aim to encourage girls and young women to consider STEM careers by inviting them to earn STEM, Engineering, Science Investigator and Online Surfer badges.

“What I'm particularly interested in, during my term as Ambassador, is empowering Girl Guides to pursue in life what they are most passionate about, which is usually what they are also most curious about,” said Dr Shaw. 

STEM will naturally play its part in that exploration, so rather than promote STEM in isolation, I want to encourage them to see STEM as a suite of tools with which to unearth and explore what they are most passionate about. And they can use this knowledge to enhance this passion directly or indirectly.

“STEM subjects can belong in a creative environment as much as a technical one. If I can achieve success in delivering that message in the next year, then I will feel that I have made a worthy contribution.” 

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