See how our business supporters, volunteers and teachers viewed our activities last year. Our Impact & Review Newslink 2014/15 is now available to be viewed here
JAI in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to launch a science education programme, Energize, to over 5,000 primary school students around Ireland. The programme will introduce science to primary school students through practical and engaging classroom-based lessons and was officially launched by science communicator Jonathan McCrea.
The programme is designed to cultivate an interest in science so that students continue with the subject to second level education. Labour market data shows that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sector despite major growth and employment opportunities. Each year, 200 volunteers from businesses around the country will be recruited, trained and supported by JAI to facilitate the roll-out of the in-classroom programme - which is an integral part of Gas Networks Ireland’s commitment to fostering students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Commenting at the launch of Energize at Mother of Divine Grace Primary School in Finglas, Jonathan McCrea, Science Communicator and presenter on Newstalk and RTÉ, said: “It is absolutely vital that we have adequate numbers of qualified science graduates if we are to continue to grow the STEM sector in Ireland. These are the graduates of 2025 and the Ireland of 2025 and beyond will increasingly depend on scientists, engineers and innovators. With the help of programmes like Energize we will ensure a sustainable supply of qualified personnel in the STEM sector supporting Ireland’s economic growth and development. We will also give these students the widest possible range of options for their futures. Complementing the primary school science curriculum, programmes like Energize will enable our young people to explore STEM and encourage them to choose science subjects for the Leaving Cert and beyond.”
Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland, said: “Gas Networks Ireland is proud to support the Energize Science education programme which we see as a vital investment in all of our futures. Energize will introduce students to energy, physics, chemistry and biology in an unexpected, informative and enjoyable way and will promote energy awareness and demonstrate how forensic science can help solve crime. The programme is designed to nurture a positive attitude towards science and in the longer term we want to cultivate a greater number of science graduates and STEM skilled professionals. Encouraging, educating and supporting children as they move forward in their lives is central to this programme and we are delighted to play a part in helping them reach their full potential.”
“It is critical that industry and education come together to excite young people about studying science and the skills required for success,” said Helen Raftery, CEO JAI. She continued “It is through the support of partners like Gas Networks Ireland that we are able to connect our students with business volunteers who in turn share their insights and expertise, linking the classroom and the ‘real-world’ to enhance their learning experience. We look forward to continuing in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland to ensure primary students enjoy the opportunity to learn about STEM in the coming years.”
Energize will be delivered to 6th class primary school students across the country and volunteers from member organisations will begin facilitating the programme in the coming weeks. Energize comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science while highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives. Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science. If you would like to register your interest in having Energize delivered in your school, please contact JAI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, have extended its partnership with JAI and launched the revamped ‘Our City’ programme.
This community and enterprise-focused initiative is set to reach up to 15,000 students nationwide on completion of the next three-year phase. To celebrate, 25 local primary school students from St. Audoen's National School, Cook Street, Dublin 8 were invited to Core’s city centre office to complete their Our City workshops, in which they practised setting up a business and marketing their products in their city. To assist the students entrepreneur Rozanna Purcell spoke to students about starting her own business.
'Our City' introduces 3rd class students (8-9 years old) to the many elements that comprise the development of an urban area. Students are introduced to their city or town as a place where people work, live, play, go to school. As citizens of 'Our City', the young students also get the chance to build their own city, and in so doing, get to debate the best way to plan and provide for the needs of everyone who lives in the city. Over the course of their five-module programme, students enjoy starting their own business, developing their own advertising campaigns and practising being successful entrepreneurs. More than 14,000 students in 571 schools nationwide have enjoyed the programme in the first three years, which involved working with more than 420 trained business volunteers from JAI-supporting organisations.
Aidan Greene, Deputy CEO of Core said, “Core is delighted to recommit to the ‘Our City’ programme. We are dedicated to supporting youth and education initiatives around the country and our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland allows us to maximise the impact we can make in communities, while inspiring the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs.”
Helen Raftery, CEO Junior Achievement Ireland, commented, “Thanks to the support of Core we are able to bring the real world into classrooms through the experience and insights of trained business volunteers. Helping students to connect what they do in school with the world around them to ensure they see the relevance of their studies in their everyday lives is a very important aspect of their development and one in which we are delighted that Core has invested its resources and expertise.”
Commenting on the programme, Adrian Harkin, Acting Principal of St. Audoen's National School said, “The ‘Our City’ programme is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the city around them and the opportunities that lie within. Not only does it bring business into the classroom, it also allows our students to get a feel for a real working environment and aspire to a variety of roles within their city.”
Jasper from Drimnagh Castle Primary School, Dublin 12 has written a blog post about his experience during a JA programme
Anthony from Deloitte started coming to work with our class this term. We did many science experiments in the Gas Network Ireland Our Universe programme. For the first one we learned about bones and Anthony gave us a gigantic paper human skeleton and cut-outs of names of bones and we had to match the cut-outs.
On the second week we did paper chromatography which was very fun because we pretended we were detectives solving a crime of who stole Mr. Carte-Blanches valuables. The thief left a pen and there were three victims so we put paper in a glass quarter-full and put a sample of every ink on the paper. To us every ink looked black and when we saw results one sample was green the other blue and the last purple. The sample which was purple matched the crime scene sample.*
The third week was about energy, we learned that there are renewable energy and non- renewable sources of energy. Some examples of renewable energy were hydro-power which was powered by water. It worked by making the water move the generator and produce electricity. Solar power is powered by the sunlight’s energy being converted to electricity. The non- renewable energies are coal and oil because it will eventually run out.
For the fourth week we learned about a prescription for a healthy heart so we thought of this list. Don’t smoke, eat healthy, get at least thirty minutes of exercise and don’t eat sweets too often. We also made a poster with a slogan for a healthy heart. Our one was a pirate saying “Stay Heaarrrrrty”.
I think Anthony saved best for last because this was my favourite lesson. It was about light. We were given mirrors and paper and we had to write “Reflection of Light” in a mirror. This was difficult because if you move your hand to the right on the mirror it would move left. If you looked at the writing through the mirror it would look fine but if you don’t it would look like gibberish. We also built a periscope which works by making light reflect onto another so you could see higher this is mainly used by submarines so you don’t have to leave underwater.
The whole class really enjoyed all of the work we did with Anthony. Junior Achievement was loads of fun and it gave us all good ideas for different jobs that people can do when we are older.
* Editor's note: please don't pass on the results of the experiment #SpoilerAlert
Pioneering Project Management Initiative for Second Level Teachers
The ‘Project Management Skills for Life for Teachers’ initiative aims to increase the ability of teachers to integrate project management into their work to enhance the effectiveness of project based learning (PBL) for students.
The initiative is fully aligned with Key Skills, which help learners develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to face the many challenges in today’s world and are at the heart of the new junior cycle specification. Project management training for educators enables innovative and effective project based learning and allows teachers to use PBL to bring key skills to life in classrooms.
‘Project Management Skills for Life for Teachers’ began with an intensive week-long training in project management fundamentals, kindly hosted by PwC and delivered by p3m global, which will be followed by participation in PMIEF’s ‘Managing the Learning Project’ micro-credential programme. Earning the micro-credential allows teachers to provide easily verifiable evidence of their knowledge and experience in integrating project management into their instruction for enhanced student learning and outcomes.
To conclude the initiative teachers will study at the Buck Institute for Education’s annual PBL World conference in Napa, California to further build their capacity to integrate project management into their classrooms. On completion, all participants will go on to promulgate PBL within their own classrooms and schools with the support of their colleagues.
Teachers from eight different counties (Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Louth & Waterford), a wide range of both subject areas (including Science, Maths, Business and English) and schools (Community Colleges, Community Schools & Volunteer Community Schools) are represented which allows for shared learning and collaborative practises which otherwise may not be possible.
The initiative is part of a wider collaboration between JAI and PMIEF to develop project management skills in classrooms nationwide. 480 students completed the PM Skills for Life programme in the 2016/17 school year. The programme facilitated by industry volunteers brought TY students through the core principles of project management after which they actioned their own projects demonstrating the skills they acquired through participation. Another 600 TY students will complete the programme this school year.
“The 21st century demands a skilled workforce that drives organizational success and meaningfully contributes to the global economy. This requires the abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and collaborate thoughtfully, competencies inherent to project management,” said Jeannette Barr, Executive Director of PMIEF. “PMIEF is delighted our partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland professionally develops teachers to integrate project management into their curricula so they can more deeply engage students and help them strengthen these capabilities.”
Dairin Evers Nolan, a participating teacher in Holy Child Community School, Sallynoggin, said: “I am excited to be a part of this wonderful initiative which will empower me to utilise project management in my classroom, enhancing my instructional abilities as well as ultimately improving my students’ outcomes by helping them to also acquire and apply project management knowledge to their learning, especially those that are project-based.”
Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, said: “We are proud to partner with PMIEF to develop teachers’ project management competencies, both to enhance their pedagogy and build confidence in deploying project based learning, which will ensure that second level school students gain an even better understanding of project management fundamentals, which are ultimately skills for life.”