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South East

Sanofi ‘STEM Zoo’ Explores STEM In Waterford

STEM Skills, College Options & Careers Investigated

2Students, teachers and volunteers celebrate after the STEM Zoo

Sanofi have sponsored a unique secondary school project called ‘STEM Zoo’ which was hosted by the Waterford Institute of Technology and involved all 10 local Secondary schools in Waterford. Over the course of 2 days, 200 5th year students participated in Science-Technology-Engineering-Maths (STEM) activities which encouraged the students to progress to a 3rd level course in that area and enjoy a great career locally, including the possibility of a career in Sanofi.

STEM 1A STEM Zoo student designs an App‘Sanofi STEM Zoo’ was designed to complement the school curriculum and consisted of four modules covering each of the STEM subject areas. Each module was led by business volunteers from Sanofi who introduced themselves, their position in Sanofi, their career and education path to date as well as the importance of their chosen STEM discipline in a company such as Sanofi.

The students participated in interactive activities which practised and developed their STEM skills before being joined by WIT staff who offered advice on courses to consider when applying for a 3rd level qualification. As the event is staged in WIT, the students have the opportunity to see first-hand the facilities on offer should they choose to study a STEM programme in the college.

Denise Power, Area Manager – South East, Junior Achievement Ireland, commented: “We are all aware of the benefits for students, especially those who struggle to maximise their potential, when they can make connections between their in-school work and what they see as the ‘real world’. Working with Sanofi and other industry partners helps to make the learning very real for these young people and they are inspired by the stories they hear from professionals who are building exciting careers in the STEM area – people relate to people and that’s the power we’re able to tap into with programmes like Sanofi STEM Zoo."

7Helen Raftery, JAI; Lyn Dowling, Sanofi; Adam Wyse, Mayor of Waterford; Emma Walsh, Sanofi; Orla O’Donovan, WIT with students from Abbey Community College

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Port of Waterford Volunteers Recognised

AAAA Port of waterford recognition event photos

Junior Achievement Ireland were delighted to recognise the support of the Port of Waterford recently at their first ever volunteer recognition event.  We presented their ‘End of Year Report’ along with the volunteer certificates to the staff who kindly gave up their time, knowledge and skills to primary and secondary school students and helped them learn more about jobs in their community.

Brian Moore, Administration Manager, Port of Waterford said that "the Port of Waterford exists as a driver of the regional economy and part of the local community. The Junior Achievement programme allows us the opportunity to engage directly with our community, and our small investment in the project is repaid many times over such a positive experience."

The partnership commenced in Faithlegg N.S. with Pilot, Victor Whitty, presenting the junior achievement, our community programme to 2nd class students and continued to Mount Sion secondary school where Arthur Kearney (also a past pupil) helped the students understand what success means to them through the Junior Achievement Economics of staying in school programme!  It was great to see a past pupil given the opportunity to share his life experiences with students.

Anne Berry, Principal and class teacher said “The programme allowed the students to see how education extends out into the world of business and they also learned important team working skills and how companies have standards that must be reached. The impact of having a business volunteer like Victor deliver the programme is really important and it really engages the students.

Denise Power, Area Manager, commented, “With the support of partners like Port of Waterford we are able to connect students with the world outside their classrooms in a way which is both meaningful and educational. 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 Port of Waterford  has invested its resources and expertise.”    

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Scoil Mhuire Coolcotts Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

epa2Students from Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts with their teachers & EPA volunteersAfter reading all about Robbie’s Trip to the Farm in the JA Ourselves programme, Senior infants in Scoil Mhuire Primary School, Coolcotts had a very special trip to the EPA to celebrate the ending of their Junior Achievement programme. Along with their friends in first class they were invited by their EPA volunteers to visit the EPA Headquarters to see some bugs species up close, receive their certificates and take a walk around the historic Johnstown Castle grounds.

Commenting on their experience of the programme Nicola Byrne, Senior Infants teacher at Scoil Mhuire, said: “The children enjoyed every minute of their Junior Achievement experience. Eimear was excellent with the children. Senior infants can be a tough audience but Eimear had their undivided attention with her captivating stories and obvious passion for the EPA. I would definitely participate in this programme again as it brings the concept of taking care of the environment into the classroom in such an accessible manner.



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Students in the South East learn how to ‘Finance their Future’

Pic 1Mairead Watkins, AIB Lismore with students and teacher from Blackwater Community School, Lismore, Co. Waterford

Students across the South East have taken part in the five week Finance Your Future programme sponsored by Metlife. The programme has been delivered by business volunteers from AIB, Waterford Credit Union, Sanofi, Bausch & Lomb, and St. Dominic Credit Union.

Thanks to the continued support of the MetLife Foundation the Life Changers Project will run across schools nationwide during the 2016/17 school year. This support will contribute to the social and economic development of more than 1,500 students who will complete the Finance your Future programme. Finance Your Future is designed to enable students to understand how to manage their own personal finances and to draw a direct correlation between education and career choices and success in the world of work. The educators with whom we work see this personal economics course as an opportunity for students to acquire effective money management skills in the context of developing their financial literacy, which will stand them in good stead into their future

Mairead Watkins from AIB, Lismore, County Waterford said “I would like to take the opportunity to thank JAI for providing me with this opportunity and experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to get involved again.  The entire program has proved very worthwhile for all involved, myself, the school and more importantly the students!

pic 2Ciara O’Kane & Christine O’Donoghue, Waterford Credit Union with students from St. Angela’s Secondary School, Waterford

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Futurewize Programme Shines Light on STEM Careers in the South East

Paul St. LeosPaul from Unum with students and teacher from St. Leo College in Carlow

We were delighted to be able to offer the Futurewize programme to schools in the South East for the first time in 2016/2017. Jointly-sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry partner Fidelity Investments, Futurewize is designed by Junior Achievement Ireland and developed for delivery by business volunteers. The programme aims to inspire Junior Cycle students to explore the career possibilities that are opened up through the study of STEM related subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Nationally in 2016/17, more than 2,000 students will complete FutureWize with 80 trained business Volunteers.

Speaking the programmes launch as the brand ambassador for Futurewize, Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics and science communicator said:  “I am passionate about inspiring students to be curious about the world around them and to be aware of the opportunities available to them should they decide to continue to study subjects such as science, mathematics, technology and Presentation college Waterford 3Students from Presentation Secondary Waterford during their coding classengineering.  An important part of this is that students meet and engage with positive role models from industry who can provide them with insight into what it might be like to work in science, technology, or engineering related jobs and businesses. 

Junior Achievement is encouraging this engagement with the Futurewize programme and I am delighted to be an ambassador for this scheme encouraging more interactions between researchers, industry, and education.  The JAI programme is also committed to attempting to address the gender gap in students studying STEM subjects and this is something I am passionate about.”

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