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Science Week in St. Declan’s

November 12, 2021

This week was Science Week in St. Declan’s and nationwide. Some of our senior classes viewed the videos on Space, Sensational Science & Biodiversity from the Rediscovery Centre.  Teagasc were running a virtual workshop for Science Week on facts about cows, milk and grass. Some of our Junior classes took part in this fun and interactive workshop. The three Junior Infant classes took part in a live SEAI workshop on Wednesday 9th of November. Our three 6th classes took part in a live workshop with Mark the science guy from RTE.

Our 3rd and 4th classes were joined by Emma Byrne (Mum to Cian in Room 10 and Evie in Room 13) on Wednesday the 10th of November for a zoom about Emma’s job as a scientist. Emma works for a company called MSD which is a leading global biopharmaceutical company whose founder company is based in New Jersey. They have companies in Ireland in Swords, Tipperary, Cork, Carlow and  in Dunboyne, Co. Meath. The company employees 3000 people in Ireland. The company is at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases. Their philosophy is always “to put the patient first”. The patient is always key when developing and producing medicines and for research development.

They are involved in cancer therapy drugs and anti diabetic vaccines. Gardasil 9 is an HPV vaccine that can be used for both girls and boys. This vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer. MSD manufacture their drugs in single use plastic bags which are biodegradable which will be very quick to access when needed.

Most people working MDS are scientists and some are engineers that help design the medicines. On site their is a laboratory. Quality staff check to make sure the electronic records are correct before the products are released onto the market. Emma is a Environmental Health and Safety Officer and she makes sure people aren’t exposed to danger throughout the process. Emma showed us some examples of chemicals in our homes and how to look out for the harmful products.

The children asked Emma some very interesting questions.

Ruby from Room 11 asked Emma “Why did you want to become a scientist?” Emma told us the reason she became interested in Science is because she had a brilliant Science teacher at school who inspired a love of chemistry and biology in her. After secondary school she spent 4 years in college studying Science.

Danny in Room 11 asked Emma “Is your job exciting?” Emma said her job was very exciting as there is always an element of danger when working with chemicals. They have an emergency response team on site full time in the event of a chemical spill. Everyone on site has to stay safe by wearing Personal Protective Equipment.

Thank you so much to Emma for giving us such an interesting and informative talk for Science Week. Who knows maybe some of our pupils will go on to work as scientists in MSD in the near future.