Children and adults of all ages will be encouraged to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics of the world around them thanks to a new 5-book series which will be available each Saturday, starting tomorrow (29 October) until 26 November.

In the Science Apprentice series, published by University College Dublin (UCD) and supported by Science Foundation Ireland, readers are brought on an interactive journey from Space to Food and Health to Energy and Resources to Computers and Data to Connected Future.

Throughout the books, Irish experts are on hand to explain concepts and answer questions as readers uncover some of the big ideas that are changing our lives.

Through the books readers will also learn how Irish scientists and engineers are making great strides to improve our present and future lives from outer space to inside our own bodies.

In the opening book of the series, entitled Space, we meet UCD scientist Professor Lorraine Hanlon, UCD School of Physics, who designs and builds instruments that can study massive explosions in the Universe, and Irish engineer Laurence O’Rourke who lands spaceships on comets.

We also see how Irish company Enbio, a graduate of NovaUCD, has developed a mission-critical white coating for the Solar Obiter spacecraft which is due to launch in 2018 and will be the closest man-made object to the sun.

Written by Irish Science Writer of the Year Claire O’Connell, the books are vitally important for primary schoolchildren, bringing them a world of knowledge in an attractive way and opening their minds to a world of potential careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“In the books we ask lots of experts about fascinating subjects – space, where our electricity and water come from, how food nourishes us, how computers and maths are all around us and how our everyday futures will change thanks to connected technologies,” said Dr Claire O’Connell.

She added, “Just as importantly we learn more about the people who ‘do’ science and engineering and what they think is cool about their work.”

Some of the content in the Science Apprentice series has been shaped by schoolchildren who took part in special learning projects and workshops in order to pass knowledge to their classmates throughout Ireland.

“We hope the books will help inspire a young generation to explore science subjects, and consider future careers in these areas,” said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

The Science Apprentice project is managed by UCD Research and Innovation. The Science Apprentice book series has been produced by University College Dublin and partners, supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions.

The Science Apprentice books are available to schools and are free to collect with the Irish Independent in Tesco stores every Saturday from October 29 to November 26.

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