Skip Navigation

Ulster-Scots Science Week Success

27 May 2016

This week the Agency held the first ever ‘Ulster-Scots Science Week’. This was a very exciting programme bringing science into schools to promote the great legacy of a number of Ulster-Scots Inventors.

The Ulster-Scots Agency commissioned Science to Life, aka ‘Scientific Sue’ to develop participative science workshops which were delivered in schools.  The schools involved were:

1.       Victoria College Preparatory School

2.       Cregagh Primary School

3.       Millisle Primary School

4.       Forthill Integrated Primary School

5.       Derryboye Primary School

Each school had a science show with gases, chemicals and experiments followed by class workshops allowing pupils to put their new knowledge into practice as they completed their tasks.  The sample of Ulster-Scots Innovators and Inventors included in the first Ulster-Scots Science Week were:

William Thomson, known as Lord Kelvin, the creator of the ‘Kelvin’ temperature scale and ‘absolute zero’.  Pupils studied temperatures, exploring the effect of salt on the temperature of ice; and using this effect to make their own ice-cream.

John B Dunlop invented the first practical pneumatic tyre so children studied forces, movement and direction as well as the Law of Conservation of Energy.  Pupils made pneumatic monsters using balloons, the monsters were designed to illustrate connections between air, energy and movement.

Harry Ferguson reknowned for inventing the Ferguson Tractor, as well as the three-point linkage system for attaching an implement to a farm tractor, first flight in Ireland and four wheel drive racing car.  Pupils built their own balloon powered tractor exploring the mechanics and how best to make the tractor propel itself faster.

Professor Frank Pantridge, invented the portable defibrillator which has transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services world-wide.  Pupils were taught about electrical energy, circuits and conductors before making their own vibrating system.

If your school would like to find out more about resources and other Ulster-Scots inventors please contact the Ulster-Scots Agency Education Team via email or contact our Belfast office on (028) 9023 1113.