by Science Gallery Dublin’s Youth Advisory Panel, the Young Leonardos

It all kicked off back in the New Year of 2017 when we gathered as a group for the first time and were tasked to create and assist in organising a careers event for second level students. The brainstorming sessions we had along with the Science Gallery’s experienced event organisers were particularly helpful. We quickly learned about not only how much creative freedom we had, but how our ideas would realistically pan out in the context of an event like this. The atmosphere was very open, and all ideas were discussed thoroughly before either being amended, accepted or discarded; which is a big part of event organisation. We felt that the mixture of areas of interest and variety of ideas we had played well into the discussion, as we all brought different perspectives to the ideas put forward.

“The mixture of areas of interest and variety of ideas we had played well into the discussion”

We decided that to create the best possible event, we should have a variety of different formats to communicate our message across to the audience. After many a discussion we decided on having lightning talks, Situation room and finally ‘Speed Dating’ but for careers. Mixed in with a few performances by our speakers to top off a great event.

We decided on having the Lightning talks in the morning to give students a more in-depth look at the experience that different people had in their career path, the twists and turns, the mistakes and ultimately the successes. One of our main goals was to appeal to all of the audience in one way or another. Our speakers came from a vast array of backgrounds – from TV presenters, Scientists and Lawyers to Solo Entrepreneurs, Playwrights and Comic Artists; we were guaranteed to have something for everyone.

“One of our main goals was to appeal to all of the audience in one way or another”

We then had the Situation Rooms which were a more interactive part of the day, a speaker would run through a scenario and ask the audience for input as to how we should deal with the problem. Imagination and speedy critical thinking was key for this part of the day to say the least. ‘Controlling deadly airborne viruses’ and ‘rebuilding Dublin after an apocalypse’ were ideas that came to mind but finally we settled on discussing the power of Artificial intelligence – which we came to learn is an infinite area regarding development.

 

(L-R) Thomas Carrigan, Heather Murphy, Elysse Cummins, Isobel Moulton, Éilis Prendergast, Cillian Gartlan and Seán Talbot. Missing from the photo are Astrid Abissath, Lauren Kenny, Jacob Edwards and Hasshim Gopee.

Speed Dating was a way to get the students to expand their horizons by talking to lots of different people from various different areas. They were a series of one-on-one or two-on-one talks given by people within different professions, ranging from solicitors and students to archaeologists and army officers. Each student sat down at a table and talked to whomever was seated there, they would do so for 5 minutes and would then move onto the next table. As organisers, some of us were lucky enough to get to participate in the ‘speed dating’. We enjoyed it immensely as we got the opportunity to talk to a lot of people with very interesting jobs, gaining insight into jobs and courses we’d never thought of taking. It was intriguing to hear about how each person had gotten into the job they were in and participants noticed a lot of them weren’t sure of the direct path they were going to take in college, something which is relieving for us students to hear!

“Participants noticed a lot of people with very interesting jobs weren’t sure of the direct path they were going to take in college”

Being part of the Young Leonardos has been an eye-opening experience for all of us. Helping to plan the ‘Werk’ event was our first major task. To be part of an event from the concept of an event to its execution is a rare experience at any age; not only for second level students!

The sense of collaboration and collective responsibility for how the event would work had us frequently discussing many of our ideas with each other online after the sessions. Each time someone suggested a speaker for the event, for example, we would discuss this. It helped us to think outside the box. The ongoing communication we had with the Science Gallery through Mairead was essential in making our ideas possible.

“The success of ‘Werk’ showed us what we are capable of as a group”

On the day of the event, we enjoyed seeing how our ideas materialised into an actual event with many second level students attending. The matching ‘Science Gallery Young Leos’ jumpers we all got on the day felt like a symbol of how we had now become not only part of the Science Gallery team, but part of a close group of young people who were more than willing to do it all again. The success of ‘Werk’ showed us what we are capable of as a group, and we hope to continue having these amazing experiences with the Science Gallery and each other in the future.

 

Curious about the “werk” they did? Here are some highlights from the event!