News » Archived News 2008

Cork City Council’s Lifetime Lab wins Public Service Excellence Award

At the Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards held in Dublin Castle on 18th April 2008, Cork City Council received a Taoiseach’s Award for its innovative “Science in the City” Schools Science Programme based in the Council’s highly successful Lifetime Lab.

The Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Awards were set up in 2004 on a bi-annual basis to celebrate the success stories in the Irish Public Service. When inaugurated in 2004 the Taoiseach’s stated aim was to “reward and recognise examples of projects and initiatives that have made real differences and to share learning and promote good practices more widely across the system”.

In 2008 183 projects were submitted for consideration, far greater in number and diversity than heretofore. The 20 projects that were in receipt of the Public Service Excellence Award 2008 represented organisations from across the Public Service, the Health Sector, the Justice Sector, Local Authorities, Central Civil Service Departments and wider State Agencies. Each of these Award Winners were selected as examples of innovation providing genuine benefits by way of better service provision and delivery of improved administration. One  of  the  successful  projects  was  that  that  submitted  by  Cork  City  Council  in  respect  of  the  educational  facilities  at  Lifetime Lab.

This title of this project was Science  in the City .

MAY 2008 jerry m  group Cork City Council’s Lifetime Lab

Pictured at Dublin Castle (L to R): Jerry Moynihan, Environment, Cork City Council, Ciara O' Donnell and Edel Lee, P.C.S.P., Dept. of Education & Science, Michael O' Brien, Gerry O' Beirne, Environment, Cork City Council, Mervyn Horgan, Lifetime Lab and Antonio Ladron de Guevara, Cork City Energy Agency.

Lifetime Lab is located at the old Victorian Waterworks on Lee Road which was responsible for supplying water to the city of Cork over three centuries. The old buildings have been restored and now house a visitor centre with interactive exhibits on the themes of water, waste and energy, conference rooms, a Steam Centre with 100 year old steam engines, Cork City Energy Agency and a Schools Resource Centre for classroom visits. A playground and coffee dock have also been developed and the site is fully wheelchair accessible.

 For further information on the Lifetime Lab Tel:021-4941500 or view the website


An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, presented the Public Service Excellence Award to Michael O'Brien, Project Manager, Lifetime Lab, at the Awards Ceremony on 18th April 2008.

Lifetime Lab Schools Science Programme – Science in the City

Lifetime Lab is a unique educational and recreational facility that has been developed at the restored Old City Waterworks at Lee Road, Cork.  The development of Lifetime Lab was funded by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Cork City Council in association with University College Cork (UCC). The ongoing operation of Lifetime Lab is funded by Cork City Council and its main private sector sponsor NTR.

The Lifetime Lab Schools Science Programme is a collaboration between Cork City Council and the Department of Education and Science’s Primary Curriculum Support Programme (PCSP) and takes place at the Lifetime Lab Schools’ Centre. Two fully qualified teachers provided by the Department of Education and Science, develop and run activities for children and teachers in Cork which support the teaching of science in primary schools. The programme includes:

  • Hands-on activity based Classroom Workshops for school groups from 3rd to 6th class
  • After school Science Clubs for 10-12 year olds
  • Other science related activities throughout the school year. 

The main goals of the Lifetime Lab Schools Science Programme are to:

  1. Deliver hands-on, activity based workshops and clubs,that challenge and encourage children, and foster a lifelong interest in science.
  2. Support the primary school science curriculum objectives.
  3. Provide practical support and modelling for primary teachers in the teaching of science.
  4. Promote the uptake of science subjects in second and third level education.  

Cork City Council has sourced funding from Johnson & Johnson, for the provision of a subsidised bus to transport children from distances up to 100km in the Cork region. This substantially reduces the financial burden of transport for schools and removes the access barrier to schools. 

The classroom workshops have been fully subscribed since commencement in September 2006 and by June 2008 7500 children will have attended classroom workshops. Feedback from teachers is excellent and the success of the initiative is evident from the demand for repeat and new visits with a waiting list of over 50 schools. 

The After School Science Clubs are attended by groups from the School Completion Programme which offers opportunities to children and young people who are at risk or who maybe experiencing educational disadvantage. 

Cork City Council views this initiative as being innovative, socially inclusive, replicable and fulfilling a need identified during stakeholder consultation and is operated through a unique partnership.


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