"To inspire and motivate young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work"
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East & Dublin

Oracle Volunteer Comes Full Circle in Bringing STEM to Life

Michael Finan Oracle Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire

Oracle staff member Michael Finan returned to his old primary school this term to teach the 6th class Energize programme.

Michael worked with students in Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, Dublin 1 and took them through the wonderful world of science.  Energize, supported by Gas Networks Ireland, comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science while highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives.

Michael FinanMichael became first volunteered with JAI in the last school year when he delivered the JA Our World programme to 4th class students in Our Lady of Consolation National School, Donnycarney, Dublin 5. Our World introduced the students to the importance and relevance of STEM subjects to future careers.

Research on the ‘role model effect’ shows the strong influence that a positive role model can play in changing perceptions and dispelling stereotypes, particularly in relation to STEM careers. Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science.

When asked why he decided to volunteer with JAI, Michael’s response was “I love the concept! When I was a student I was delighted when people from outside our school community visited the class so I wanted to give back. I connected with the ethos of positive reinforcement around the world of work and really liked how JAI made the topics so interactive and fun. I would advise anyone to get involved as it is the most fun I have ever had while working and seeing the students enjoy themselves is the ultimate reward”.

Michael describes his JAI experience in three words: fun, rewarding and energising. He was in the first ever Junior Infants class in Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire and one of his former classmates is now the  school's Principal. 

Thank you Michael for being such a fantastic advocate for STEM!

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AIG Inspire Local Students to Reach for the Stars

AIG Loreto Crumlin

AIG Insurance’s Women & Allies Group recently hosted 24 TY and 5th Year students from Loreto College Girls Secondary School in Crumlin for an employability workshop in their European Headquarters on North Wall Quay in Dublin. The students were welcomed by General Manager Declan O’Rourke who gave the group an overview of the insurance industry, the AIG global brand as well as discussing the positive impact they have made as a company whilst in operation in Ireland.

The enthusiastic volunteer group worked with the students throughout the day on their personal brand, focusing on skills and interests, CV development and a mock interview for their dream job. The girls heard from members of the Women & Allies Group on each individual’s unique career path and the steps they took to get where they are today. Hearing first hand from positive female role models on what can be achieved through hard work and dedication will help inspire the students to recognize their potential by introducing them to the world of work.

AIG Loreto Crumlin 2The AIG Women & Allies workshop is one of many volunteering opportunities being afforded to students thanks to their ongoing support this year. AIG Insurance are this year celebrating 100 years and are aiming to log 100 volunteering hours through Junior Achievement programmes throughout Dublin.

AIG ended the workshop with a healthy lunch spread for all as Jennifer Horgan presented each student with an individual recognition in the form of a certificate of achievement and a “Thought Journal” highlighting the importance of looking after their mental health on a daily basis. Thank You to AIG for their continued and impactful support.

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Enterprise in Action in Palmerstown Community School

       A student shares her experience of the Enterprise in Action programme

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Aisling (second left) with classmates from Palmerstown Community School and Citi volunteer Sarah Macasieb

Our Transition Year business class spent six weeks learning about entrepreneurship and how to run a business, and what an exciting six weeks it was!

We started by reading through the Enterprise in Action programme workbook with Sarah. From this, we learned the advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship and the traits that a good entrepreneur should have. Sarah did a fantastic job of teaching the class about the skills needed to start up a business which we used when we came up with our own ideas.

Sarah really encouraged us to pursue business ideas that we were passionate about. This resulted in many different unique propositions from different teams, ranging from positive mental health keychains to fitness apps.

Once everyone had an idea, we got to work on writing business plans and making the products. The tasks were demanding at times but everyone enjoyed the challenge.

When the day finally came to visit Citi Bank, everyone was so excited (and a little bit nervous!) to pitch their ideas in front of the three judges. It was really interesting to see all of the different team’s pitches and how they came up with the idea for their product.

Later, when the final team wrapped up their presentation, Sarah gave us a tour of the building. Everyone we spoke to on the tour was extremely friendly and gave us great insight into what it is like to work in Citi.

The final thing we did that day was announce the winning team for the pitch presentation. We all had put so much effort into our ideas and our products that it didn’t even feel like a competition. Even though there was only one winning team, everyone had lots of fun and we were all just so proud to showcase all of the hard work we had done over the previous six weeks.

 This programme was hugely beneficial to all of the students in our class. From this programme we have developed many of our skills such as our problem-solving skills, oral and written communication, initiative and entrepreneurship skills and our ability to work in a team. It also helped to expand our imagination and be more confident.

We are extremely grateful to everyone at Citi who was involved and particularly to Sarah for devoting her time to teaching us how to be the best entrepreneurs that we can be.

For all of the students in our class, this experience has made business studies immensely enjoyable.

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Hard to Top this School to Work Day

Top Oil 1

Louise Hyland from Top Oil recently delivered the Our Nation programme to 4th class students from St. Brigid’s GNS, Killester, Dublin 5.

During this in-depth and action packed five week programme, students role-played business ownership, produced a product using different methods of production, looked at the costs associated with running a business, created product advertisements, and took charge of their own businesses to make a profit!

Top Oil 2After concluding the programme Louise organised a site visit for Mrs. Delaney’s class to visit the Top Oil head offices in East Point. Louise had introduced working in a business through her JA programme and now the students would get to see her office and meet her colleagues in person.

The students were collected from the school and driven to the port where they got to see the largest oil storage tanker – which made quite an impression – and how the oil is transported. The students then got a tutorial in how to ‘drive a truck’.

Louise introduced all of the students to her colleagues, who explained their roles and the skills needed to work in a company like Top Oil, and the students even had an opportunity to ‘interview’ for their positions

To cap off an impactful day, the class were presented with their Certificates of Achievement and goodie bags kindly provided by Top Oil in their board room.

A huge thank you to Louise and all in Top Oil for providing such a memorable end of year experience for the girls from St. Brigid’s GNS, Killester.

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Wonderful World of Science brought to Life at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair

JJ Science Fair group shot resized

One hundred students from 5th and 6th class from Our Lady Queen of Apostles National School, Clondalkin experienced the wonderful world of science during the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI).

Taking place in the Tallaght Campus of Technological University Dublin (TUD) the J&J Science Fair enabled primary school students to gain skills related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (STEM2D) as well as learn more about STEM-related roles. Particular emphasis was given to girls interacting with female role models at the workshops.

JJ Volunteer Students resizedThe interactive workshops led by trained J&J volunteers ranged from designing a new “medicine”, taking on the role of biomedical scientists, and conducting laboratory research to working as engineers to consider design concepts. Students were also provided with an overview of the different opportunities to study STEM-related courses at TUD-Tallaght Campus along with a tour of the campus by student ambassadors.

Studies show that 30% of Irish students don’t understand how STEM is relevant to their lives and 44% of Irish secondary school respondents believed that STEM subjects are more suited to men than women.

The J&J WiSTEM2D Youth Programme has been designed to advance STEM2D education, specifically of young women and girls globally, through community-based partnerships to reach over 1 million girls by 2020.

JJ Volunteers resizedJohnson & Johnson’s Science Fair is just one of many opportunities afforded to students thanks to J&J’s support of JAI. Across Campus Ireland, 100 J&J volunteers will reach 1700 young people this school year through Junior Achievement (JA) programmes and events designed to encourage young people to remain in education and help them to develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world.

Ms. Pauline Duffy, Home School Liaison Officer, at Our Lady Queen of Apostles National School commented: “The J&J Science Fair really opened our students’ eyes to the range of career possibilities that flow from studying STEM subjects. It is vital that our students get the opportunity to interact with role models from the working world, such as today’s fantastic J&J volunteers. I’m certain today’s event would have made a positive impact on how our students view STEM subjects.”

Patrizio Fatale Country Manager, J&J Medical Devices Ireland, part of the J&J family of companies, said: “It is vitally important to develop an interest in STEM before students enter second level education. The need to ensure more women see a future for themselves in STEM industries is well documented. Initiatives like the Johnson & Johnson Science Fair, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland, is an inventive way of tackling this issue.”

Helen Raftery, Chief Executive of JAI, said: “The educational value of students working with role models and getting the chance to learn in a different environment is well-established. Thanks to J&J, the students participating in the J&J Science Fair at TUD had a very exciting introduction to a variety of interesting topics in the workshops on campus. It is particularly pleasing to note that the girls attending today got so much encouragement to reach their full potential by considering one of the many careers available to them in to STEM2D-related roles.”

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