New funding of €1.6m for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) educational and public engagement projects in Ireland has been announced.
It will support 39 initiatives aimed at encouraging people of all ages to develop an active and informed interest and involvement in Stem. It is estimated that over 4.5 million people will engage with the various projects over the course of 2015.
The funding is being supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (DJEI) and delivered through Sciance Foundation Ireland’s education and outreach programme SFI Discover.
A key factor for multinational companies considering creating jobs in Ireland is access to a skilled and qualified workforce in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, who announced the funding at an event in Farmleigh House in Dublin today.
“The programmes being funded through SFI Discover will open up the vast range of career opportunities available in Stem sectors to young people. It will future-proof the flow of Stem graduates and ultimately enable Ireland to attract further investment from international companies and to grow and maintain jobs.”
Some of the SFI Discover funded projects include:
- Brain Freeze 2, a science-based animation series developed by Kite Entertainment in association with CBBC and RTE
- MakerDojo, a hardware or ‘hacker’ style club delivered by Tyndall National Institute, Biomaker Fórma and DesignerDojo, where the public can explore science and technology in a hands-on, self-directed fashion, aiming towards a culture of garage inventors and entrepreneurs
- Dart of Physics, a project that encourages thousands of commuters to think about physics in a different way through a poster campaign on the Dart
- The introduction by Blackrock Castle Observatory of a range of family-friendly experiments to encourage visitors to explore the concepts behind space science, complemented by a new video exhibition focused on Irish space scientists and Stem careers.
A number of SFI Discover’s strategic partners, including SciFest, The Festival of Curiosity and National Maths Week, have also received funding.
“The projects to receive funding were assessed by international experts and selected based on their potential to promote awareness and understanding of the importance and relevance of Stem to everyday life and to reach new audiences not normally engaged with Stem, as well as continuing to target existing audiences,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director of strategy and communications at SFI. “The funding will enable the recipients to invest in developing and extending their capacity and allow them to explore innovative channels of public engagement with Stem subjects.”
A further announcement of 1250 extra ICT places for students was also made in the government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015. This National Talent Drive reform is set to focus on strengthening employability of learners and enhancing employer engagement at all levels. The plan is forecast to increase graduates in this sector by 60% by 2018.
Explore more information on STEM careers.
The CareersPortal Team