Service Learning
A teaching tool connecting community and classroom

Biomedical Science connect their learning through Service Learning

This Service Learning module introduces Biomedical Science students to the concept of Service Learning. Students take the 4 ECTS module in the second year of the programme.

It aims to enhance classroom learning and link it with community service to enrich learning experiences and emphasize civic responsibility. The module is integrated into the students' curriculum to provide structured time to think, talk and report about their group activities. The specific projects vary from year to year. Community groups that have been incorporated in the past include local secondary schools, the "Youth Cafe" centre for teenage children and immigrant community groups among others. In 2010-2011 community partners included the Irish Kidney Association, learning the science involved in and promoting the practice of organ donations, with Croí evaluating and recommending diets for a healthy heart and learning about mental health and instigating a mental health awarness campaign. Students responded to a request from local secondary schools to provide information on biomedical research taking place in NUI Galway and in University Hospital Galway. A group of students researched the spectrum of activities taking place and wrote articles for the local newspaper. In the current academic year one group is making a smart phone application with video footage of laboratory practicals on the leaving certificate curriculum for the benefit of pupils and teachers in secondary schools nationally. Another group is working with Irish Therapy Dogs, promoting their activities and researching the contribution of dogs in medicine. Academic/Clinical supervisors over the last three years of this programme were Dr. Lynn OConnor (NUIG), Dr. Ger Flaherty (NUIG/UHG) and Dr. Brian Stewart (UHG).