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Irish Language Game sweeps the boards at Entrepreneurial Final

Ri na bhFocal Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne

Rí na bhFocal, from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry has claimed the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2020 National Final with a newly developed Irish language board game.

The Corca Dhuibhne natives will now represent Ireland at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition 2020 which was due to be held in Portugal but as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions will now be held online in July. This is the second time that the winners of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Clár na gComhlachtaí will have the opportunity to participate at the European level of the competition.

Minister McHughThe national final was held online this year and the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Senator Seán Kyne and Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh were on hand to send inspiring video messages to the students during the event.

With more than 750 Transition Year students taking part in Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford, eight teams were ultimately selected to proceed to the National Final. The standards set by these regional winners means the winner of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí can be regarded as particularly astute entrepreneurs.

Liam Ó hÓgáin, Finn Daibhéis and Patrick Saunders were the founding members of Rí na bhFocal. Rí na bhFocal is a new interactive Irish language board game for 2-6 players that can be adapted to be played by children and adults of all ages. The successful company from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne were mentored by their business studies teacher Trish Uí h-Éanacháin.

photaitsThis year’s Marketing and Finance Award went to Photraits from Coláiste na Coiribe, Galway.  The team expertly showed how they carried out marketing activities and the importance of financial planning.  Photraits is a special service where a customer can send a photograph via email/social media and they will draw a hand-made portrait and send it to you for a fee.

Farraige Ghlas from Coláiste Pobail Acla, Acaill, Co. Mayo were the worthy winners of the Innovation Award.  Farraige Ghlas’s innovative concept was to create an environmentally friendly way to enjoy high-speed water sports. They intend to convert conventional fuel Jet Skis to Jet Skis with electric motors, which are more environmentally friendly.

farraige glasClár na gComhlachtaí is developed and delivered by Údarás na Gaeltachta and JAI.  Students create, operate and manage their own business as they move from the idea generation stage, to finance, production, marketing, sales right through to going to market. Local business volunteers, executives from Údarás na Gaeltachta and JAI mentored the students alongside their teachers.

Emerging from very competitive regional finals in Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Donegal, were teams from:

  • Coláiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhic Íre, Co. Cork
  • Coláiste Ghobnait, Inis Oírr, Co. Galway       
  • Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór, Co. Donegal
  • Coláiste Bhreandáin Naofa, Béal an Mhuirthead, Co. Mayo
  • Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry
  • Coláiste na Coiribe, Co. Galway      
  • Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, An Clochán, Co. Donegal
  • Coláiste Pobail Acla, Acaill, Co. Mayo

All represented their regions with great distinction at the National Final.

Coinnle do ChromghlinnThe judging panel comprising of Mark de Faoite from Údarás na Gaeltachta and Bernie Ní Shúilleabháin of Telegael was quite impressed with the performance of all the students across each element of the competition however Rí na bhFocal from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne just edged to come out on top based on the quality of their innovative business idea and overall performance on the day.

Europe-wide research shows that students who participate in entrepreneurial education activities such as Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed and are more often in steady employment into adulthood.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive Officer with Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented: “Despite the uncertainty of the current situation it was inspiring to witness such enterprising young people at the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2020.  Their knowledge and enthusiasm for their business ideas indicates that enterprise in Gaeltacht areas is in safe hands. Údarás na Gaeltachta is proud to help promote student entrepreneurship in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland and I’m sure we will be seeing more of these young entrepreneurs in the future. Special congratulations to our winning team Rí na bhFocal from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne for your dedication and entrepreneurial flare.  I am confident that these efforts will inspire new Gaeltacht enterprises in the future.”

focail EileHelen Raftery, CEO of JAI added: “The support of Údarás na Gaeltachta has enabled more than 750 senior cycle students to take part in meaningful real-to-life entrepreneurial experiences across the Gaeltacht areas through Clár na gComhlachtaí this year. We wish to extend a special thank you to teachers and business mentors for their dedication in supporting and developing the entrepreneurial talent of these students. The wide-ranging skills these young entrepreneurs have developed and practised throughout Clár na gComhlachtaí will be invaluable as they progress into the world of work. Our national finalists have shown great resilience and impressive creativity, team working and communication skills as they competed in our first virtual final – no mean feat. Congratulations to all the teams that won the right to compete at the regional and national finals and to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhe, Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry for emerging as winners of Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár na gComhlachtaí 2020. They will go on to represent Ireland at the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition 2020”.

Udaras gallery from final

ri na bhfocal

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JAI make home learning resources available for school students of all ages

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  • Resources cover 1st class to 6th year
  • Adapted for self-directed learning
  • Have been successfully utilised in hundreds of schools

A wide range of resources have been made available by JAI to assist teachers and parents as they continue to support students of all ages and their ongoing learning at home.

The resources are all aligned with the formal curriculum, easy-to-use and have previously been successfully facilitated by thousands of volunteers in schools nationwide.

They have been modified for use in self-directed learning or reshaped as an extended learning opportunity to allow for effective use in the home.

JAI is also piloting a range of options with partners in education in order to continue to help young people to practise essential skills by developing remote volunteering capabilities.

Junior Achievement (JA) programmes are normally facilitated by business volunteers and encourage young people to remain in education and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world.

Speaking on behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our educators for the exceptional work you have been doing to provide continuity of learning for your students. While recognising that every school, and every student, has varying degrees of access to resources and online capabilities we are delighted to have made our resources available online for use during this challenging time. It is our sincere hope these will prove useful to both teachers and parents when considering resources to be utilised at home by students.

In our work with schools across Ireland, we see at first-hand the incredible work being done to prepare students to achieve success in their futures, thank you for continuing this vital work in such unprecedented circumstances.”

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Junior Achievement Ireland COVID-19 Response

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On foot of today’s announcement by the government, and to assist in dealing with the ongoing public health situation, we have decided to postpone all Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) activities with volunteers, with the matter to be kept under review in line with public health guidelines. 

We recognise that the CSR plans of many of our partners may be negatively impacted, but trust that everyone will understand the need for us to come to this decision. In that regard, we encourage all JA volunteers, educators, students and partners to stay informed and adhere to the advice being offered by the public health experts.

As always, we will be adhering to the policies of our education and industry partners and our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students, staff and the communities we serve.

We will continue to monitor the situation and send updates as needed. 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility.

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Galway Student wins National Safety Competition

AMM 200210 3693Maya Demianiuk from 6th class in Scoil Chaitríona Senior, Renmore, Galway, won the nationwide poster competition to raise awareness of carbon monoxide and the dangers that it can pose in our homes.

At the beginning of the school year JAI in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland called for entries to its carbon monoxide safety poster competition from all the students who completed the in-classroom Energize programme. The competition received hundreds of entries from all over Ireland however, Maya’s poster, featuring the heading “If you feel sick, check that quick”, was deemed first among equals. Thanks to Maya’s efforts she was presented with an iPad by Gas Networks Ireland for use in her school classroom.

The Energize programme, supported by Gas Networks Ireland, is delivered to over 5,000 primary school students around Ireland. The programme introduces science to primary school students through practical and engaging classroom-based learning to cultivate an interest in science so that students continue with the subject to second level education.

Maya was guided by their Energize programme volunteer Audrey Haydens from Arm Ireland Ltd. and teacher Michael Mulkerrins.AMM 200210 3754

Class teacher Michael Mulkerrins said: “The Energize programme really supported the curriculum and made science fun and interesting for my class. The opportunity to be creative, paired with practical safety lessons, allowed the students to really engage with the carbon monoxide poster competition. We are delighted Maya has won this award, it’s a great testament to her hard work. Thanks to Audrey Hayden for delivering the Energize programme – she was a great role model for the working world - and Gas Networks Ireland for supporting such an important initiative.”

Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs at Gas Networks Ireland commented: “As science, technology, engineering and maths expertise is at the centre of our business, we’re big supporters of (STEM) education. As sponsors of the Energize programme, we want to develop students’ interest in STEM subjects, with the ultimate aim of inspiring the workforce of the future to pursue STEM careers. Congratulations to Maya and all in Scoil Chaitríona for winning the Term 1 Energize art competition. I’m delighted that so many schools have already engaged with Energize and that we’ve received entries to our carbon monoxide safety poster competition from schools across Ireland. Most importantly, more students are now aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and will be able to spot the warning signs in the future”.

We look forward to seeing more incredible posters from all over Ireland when the carbon monoxide poster competitions take place again over the next two school terms!AMM 200210 3735

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Jaguar Land Rover Driving a Unique STEM Education Programme

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JAI was delighted to launch the Jaguar Land Rover 4x4 in Schools Technology Challenge programme in St. Flannan’s College, Ennis, Co. Clare. Students from eight schools across Ireland will learn how to design and code vehicles of the future thanks to this unique programme.

The Challenge involves three to six team members working together to design and build a radio-controlled four-wheel-drive vehicle, to set specifications. The vehicle must be able to successfully negotiate a specially designed off-road test track emulating real life and it must perform as a full-size SUV would do.

The Challenge raises awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) among students in Ireland and across the world. Spanning age ranges of 11 to 18 the programme changes perceptions of STEM by creating fun and exciting learning environments for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, design and technology.

4X4 Challenge 20191202 008Student teams from Ennistymon Vocational School, Co. Clare; St. Flannan’s College, Ennis, Co. Clare; Carrigaline Community School, Co. Cork; Loreto Community School Milford, Co. Donegal; St. Paul's CBS Brunswick Street, Dublin 7; St. Brigid's College, Loughrea, Co. Galway; Garbally College, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway; and De La Salle College, Waterford are being mentored by Jaguar Land Rover volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover’s Software Engineering Centre in Shannon.

The teams will take part in the National Final at the Technological University of Dublin’s Bolton Street Campus in 2020. They will be scored on track performance and also present their work and knowledge of vehicle design and engineering to a panel of judges with the aim of becoming National Champions.

Nelson Vale, International Project Manager, Engineering in Motion, said: “The Challenge inspires students to broaden their skills, put their classroom learning into practice and push the boundaries of their knowledge. There is a growing demand for roles requiring a knowledge of coding, software engineering and electronics and it’s great to see how the Challenge is inspiring the next generation.”

Helen Raftery, CEO, Junior Achievement Ireland, said “It is critical that industry and education come together to excite young people about studying STEM subjects and the skills required for success. We are excited to partner with Engineering in Motion on this unique programme which will help ensure our students leave school equipped with the skills required for the jobs of tomorrow.

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