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.
The 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.
Johnson & 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.”