menu iconmenu
Science
science beaker icon

Science Education Student, DCU

Katie Burrowes

Job title
Student
Company
DCU
Industry
Science Education
Experience
One year
Education
  1. Currently studying Bachelor's in Science Education
Favourite subjects in school
Physics and Biology
The best thing about my job
My favourite thing about DCU is how much it feels like a community. From walking from the bus stop to the science building I could see loads of people I know- from people in my course to my friends from secondary school!

I would love to teach the public about STEM and the importance of science in society. If I was a science communicator I would try to get rid of the idea that only “smart” people can do STEM- science is important in everyone’s life and they should have the opportunity to learn about some of the scientific ideas that affect their life.

 

I went to a small girls’ secondary school where they didn’t have a lot of resources for science subjects. I really wanted to do physics and had meetings with my guidance counselor to show her how important it would be for my future. Thankfully, we got a physics class!

My favourite thing about my course

My favourite thing about my course is the variety. I have a chance to study chemistry, physics and maths for 2 years, in 3rd year I can specialise in 2 of these subjects. Having a chance to study these subjects in depth for 2 years helps me really understand what subjects I want to teach in the future. 

Challenges

Since science ed. in DCU is a 4 year course instead of 5 in most colleges, its means that there’s always a lot of work to do! College semesters can be long as most teaching placement is done outside of term time.

Who influenced me

In secondary school I started working with Anyone 4 Science- a science education company that runs summer camps, mid-term camps and after school clubs for children aged 4-12 who have an interest in science. Throughout school I worked there, and that's what inspired me to put science education as the number one slot on my CAO. I still work as a teacher in Anyone 4 Science and it definitely helps with college- I am confident teaching and managing a class and I also have loads of fun ideas of how to teach science in an interactive way.

My sister also influenced my study path, firstly she got me my job in Anyone 4 Science (thanks Emma!) but she also did Science Education in DCU and graduated just before I started. 

What subjects did I take in school and were they important for my chosen study path?

I did higher level maths, physics and biology in school and these subjects were definitely the most important subjects for my course. HL maths really helped me understand that if you can think critically about a problem and work hard you should be able to answer it. Biology was a good choice because in 1st year in college you just add on to your knowledge from secondary school. Physics was probably the most important subject I chose. In college physics can be tough but from doing it in school I had a pretty solid foundation that I could build upon.

Is there work placement within the course?  

There are 3 school placements in my course, with the final placement in 4th year lasting a whole semester. Unlike doing a Post Masters in Education (PME), I have a chance to teach throughout my course and learn different methods of teaching along the way. These placements allow you to build up your lesson plans and class resources so that when you become a qualified teacher you will have taught the majority of topics in your chosen subjects.

What's next? 

At the end of my course I will be a qualified maths and science teacher so if everything goes to plan I should be teaching in a secondary school in Ireland or abroad when I finish my degree. If I decide I don’t want to be a teacher my degree is still a science degree so I could find a job in the science industry.

Top tip 

If you want to be a science and maths teacher then you definitely need to be passionate about what you’re teaching. If you don’t have an interest in science or maths then your students will find it hard to be inspired or motivated to learn.