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Energize Brings Science to Life with Gas Networks Ireland

EnergizeScience communicator Jonathan McCrea with Helen Raftery, CEO JAI, Ian O'Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland and students from Mother of Divine Grace PS at the launch of Energize

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.

Energize 2Gas Networks Ireland volunteer Niamh Conroy facilitates a module during the Energize launchThe 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.”

Energize 3Science communicator Jonathan McCrea spoke to students about the fun and practical side of scienceIan 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 info@jai.ie.

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Business is Core to ‘Our City’

Entrepreneur Rozanna Purcell with students from St. Audoens National SchoolEntrepreneur Rozanna Purcell spoke to students from St. Audoens National School about starting her own business

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.

Students from St. Audoens National School working on their Business IdeasStudents working on their Business Ideas'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.”

Students from St. Audoens Celebrate the launch of Our City with Core volunteersStudents from St. Audoens Celebrate the launch of Our City with Core volunteers

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Junior Achievement - a Student's Perspective

Jasper from Drimnagh Castle Primary School, Dublin 12 has written a blog post about his experience during a JA programme

JasperAnthony 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

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Unique Project Management Training for Teachers Launched

Pioneering Project Management Initiative for Second Level Teachers

IMG 3716Pictured are our pioneering teachers: Front row, L-R: Niamh Dwyer, Assumption Secondary School, Walkinstown, Dublin; Ray Mead (Trainer), p3m global; Maria Sheehan, St. Caimin's Community School, Shannon, Clare. Middle Row, L-R: Diarmaid Walsh, St. Aidan’s Community College, Cork; Rita Hehir, Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally, Limerick; Mary Kelleher, Loreto College, Crumlin, Dublin; Margaret Walsh, De La Salle, Waterford; Audrey Flood, O’Fiaich College, Dundalk, Louth; Angela O'Sullivan, Glanmire Community College, Cork; Fiona Bourke, Galway Community College, Galway; Dairin Evers Nolan, Holy Child Community School, Sallynoggin, Dublin; Emer Kilgannon, Presentation Collage, Athenry, Galway; Sandra Keating, Presentation Secondary, Waterford. Back Row, L-R: Finn Dunleavy, St. Paul's CBS, North Brunswick Street, Dublin; Mick Burns, Cabinteely Community School, Dublin A philanthropic initiative to provide opportunities for teachers in Ireland to gain project management knowledge and skills has been launched by JAI with the grant support of the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

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.

IMG 3566Ray Mead of p3m global delivering project management training to teachersThe 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.

IMG 5502Project management skills being put to use by participating teachersThe 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.”

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Peat Moss Facemasks Claim National Crown

11 Clar Comhlachta JAI UDARASBoue Cosmetics, comprising of Grace Ní Chonchúr, Kate Ní Chnáimhsí, Aifric Nic Niallais, Clionagh Nic Suibhne, Molly Nic Pháidín and Caitlin James are Winners of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2018!

Boue Cosmetics, a fledgling company from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal was acclaimed as the winner of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár na gComhlachtaí 2018 National Final held in Galway.  

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.

5 Clar Comhlachta JAI UDARASBoue Cosmetics is comprised of Grace Ní Chonchúr, Kate Ní Chnáimhsí, Aifric Nic Niallais, Clionagh Nic Suibhne, Molly Nic Pháidín and Caitlin James. The company produces face masks made from peat moss and claim to be the first face mask made from peat moss for the beauty market. It also contains a unique mix of Aloe Vera, Jasmine Tea and Eucalyptus Oil scientifically proven to benefit your skin.

Boue Cosmetics was mentored by local business volunteer Evelyn Cagney, Pet Lamb Design and Criostóir MacSuibhne from Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Clár Comhlachta is developed and delivered by Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland (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.

evelyn o tooleEY Entrepreneur of the Year Evelyn O'Toole speaks about her experience setting up a businessEmerging from very competitive regional finals in Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Donegal teams from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Daingean Uí Chúis, Co. Kerry, Coláiste Chroí Mhuire  An Spidéal, Co. Galway, Gaelcholáiste Chomáin, Ros Dumhach, Co. Mayo; Coláiste Ghobnait, Inis Oírr, Oileáin Árann, Co. Galway; Preab Teo., Gaelcholáiste Chomáin, Ros Dumhach, Co. Mayo, DCM, Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, An Clochán, Leifear, Co. Donegal also represented their regions with great distinction at the national final. All participating students enjoyed a communications workshop with Darach Ó Tuairisg of Fíbín on the eve of the final, with each team exhibiting at a trade stand, displaying their business acumen during the judges’ interview and presenting their business ideas on stage in front of a public audience on the day of the final.

clar judgesStudent entrepreneurs performed admirably at their trade stand interviewsThe judging panel comprising Sinéad Ní Fhatharta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Ruairí Noone, Entrepreneur were very impressed with the performance of all the students across each element of the competition however Boue Cosmetics just edges out Stetsons N Steps from Gairmscoil Chú Uladh and Preab Ltd. from Coláiste Ghobnait, Inis Oírr to come out on top based on the quality of their innovative business idea and overall performance on the day.

Europe-wide research shows students who participate in entrepreneurial education activities such as Clár Comhlachta are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. Clár Comhlachta aids in the development of creativity, initiative, financial literacy, teamwork, communication skills, understanding of risk and a sense of responsibility.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented: “It was inspiring to witness such enterprising young people at the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár Comhlachta 2018.  Their knowledge and enthusiasm for their business ideas indicates that enterprise in the Gaeltacht areas is in safe hands. Údarás na Gaeltachta are 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 from Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair for your dedication and entrepreneurial flare.  I am confident that these efforts will inspire new Gaeltacht enterprises in the future.

udaras 1Fantastic presentation skills from Rún na Maighdine MaraHelen Raftery, CEO, Junior Achievement Ireland 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 Comhlachta 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 who have also gained confidence in many transversal skills such as team-working, negotiation and public speaking – skills which will be invaluable as they progress into the world of work. We look forward Congratulations to all the teams that won the right to compete at the regional and national finals and to Boue Cosmetics for emerging as winners of Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár Comhlachta 2018.”

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