South East

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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JAI & Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Partnership Continues in 2017

epa recognitionCelebrating with EPA Wexford Volunteers 2015/16We were delighted to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time in 2016. Across the year, 29 EPA employees from their Head Office in Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford and their Castlebar Regional Inspectorate in Mayo volunteered to teach Junior Achievement programmes in primary and secondary schools. The local students - who got the chance to be involved in JA programmes because of the EPA volunteers participation - ranged from senior infants at primary level to Transition year students at secondary level.

droneDrone Display at Student Science WorkshopIn addition to teaching a programme, 11 of the volunteers invited their classes to visit the EPA to see first-hand the work that happens there and to further develop their understanding of the correlation between education and the work place. Activities included visits to the conference room and a very special science workshop where the students witnessed science and engineering coming to life by means of a hovercraft, a drone and river micro fauna displays.

Thanks to each of our first volunteers from the EPA, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the EPA in their Dublin, Monaghan and Kilkenny sites in 2017.

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UNUM Volunteers teach Project Management Skills to Carlow students

con and mary unumGaelcholáiste Cheatharlach Students Pictured with their Volunteers Mary & Con

Staff from UNUM recently volunteered with 57 students from Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach to deliver Module 1 and 2 of the PMIEF “Project Management Skills for Life” programme designed to enable students to understand how to plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate a project of their own.

On Wednesday 23rd November, Mary, Con and Virginia visited Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach to facilitate project in classStudents preparing their structures
module 1 of the programme enabling the students to understand what a project is, how project management is important in every industry and what skills potential project managers need to develop. Following on from which through an interactive mini-project the students were tasked with a specific brief to build the tallest structure possible, in the time allowed, that was solid enough to be moved from one location to another with the limited amount of resources provided to them. This enabled the students to experience many elements of project management including scope, time, cost, quality, risk, and team collaboration.

On November 28th and 30th, the two classes were invited to UNUM to complete Module two of the Project Management Skills for Life programme and to see first-hand how important Project Management is in UNUM. On arrival at UNUM the students were met by Gillian O’Connor, HR Administrator who welcomed the students to UNUM and introduced them to a number of her colleagues whose roles included Business Analysts, Scrum Masters, Project Managers, Software Engineers and Technical Support Engineers. All of whom gave an overview of their roles in UNUM and outlined how important project management is in every part of the work they do.

unumGaelcholáiste Cheatharlach students during their visit to UnumSubsequently, Virginia, Mary and Con worked with their classes to generate ideas for a project that they would like to project manage in school to fundraise for a local charity. The students were enthused by the challenge and came up with some great ideas including a fun run in Christmas jumpers and an Easter Sports Eggtravaganza. After electing Project Managers and Deputy Project Managers for their class group the students were given a tour of UNUM and were introduced to more professionals in UNUM who discussed their roles and answered the students questions on the education requirements for their job.

Over the next few weeks and months both transition year Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach class groups will carry out their class projects. Based on their enthusiasm and engagement we look forward to their hard work resulting in successful outcomes for their projects. Thank you to all involved!

Virginia with BooksVirginia with Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach students during her visit to the school

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ORAFOL Mark National Science Week 2016

photo 8In conjunction with National Science Week 2016,  students from 4th class in St. Saviour’s N.S. were invited to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at ORAFOL Europe GmbH.

ORAFOL and Junior Achievement Ireland, ran an exciting ‘School to Work’ Day  where the dual aim was to help the children realise the full range of services provided by this Waterford facility whilst also learning about engineering, science and health & safety. Throughout the course of an activity-filled morning, the children met with many of the staff working in ORAFOL.

The morning began with an introduction to what happens in the company and an opportunity to learn about some of the different careers. Following this they participated in a science workshop called “Rainbows to Lasers” where they learned about the properties of light and reflection.

After this they were brought on a guided site tour where they experienced the ‘Light Tunnel’, and ORAFOL’s laboratory and production facility. The last event of the day was a “Spot the Hazard” activity where the students identified hazards in a community and learned the importance of safety in the workplace and how to avoid accidents. We also had a special guest from Waterford Garda Station, Garda Bernard Dowling, who had a question and answer session with the students and reinforced the importance of safety in the community. Finally, the students were presented with their Certificates of Achievement by Finance Director Will O’ Reilly.

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Ciara Kavanagh, Principal of St. Saviour’s N.S., on behalf of the 4th class teacher said, “The students were delighted to be invited to ORAFOL for a visit during Science Week. The children really enjoyed the visit as it was both fun and educational. The staff from ORAFOL ensured that the children were looked after so well during the day and learned so much from the trip. We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone involved.”

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Medentech Engineer a Great Event

We were delighted to run a school to work day with Medentech as part of National Engineers week 2016. Twenty Four 6th class students from Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts were thrilled to be part of this event which helped them understand the great products which Medentech produce and how engineering plays a vital part in the processes of the company.  Six staff volunteered their time to work closely with all the students so that they had a better idea about some of the interesting careMedentech 2Students on a tour of the Medentech facilityers in engineering.

Michael Gately,  Managing  Director at Medentech and Deirdre Forte, Senior HR Manager at Medentech welcomed the students on site, and explained to the students about how their disinfection tablets kill harmful bacteria on surfaces to help reduce the spread of infection in clinical environments and how the water purification tablets they produce in Wexford reduce microorganisms to make water safer to drink.

Engineers Jason Malone and Ciaran Fortune helped the students to understand the link between the importance of staying in education and the job choices open to them in the future by taking the students through their education and career paths to date.  Following on from which Nicola Roche explained through an interactive activity how vaccinations work and can prevent the spread of diseases.

Finally Lenagh Rumgay, EmerMedentech 1Our Medentech volunteers Moloney along with Jason and Ciaran, took the students on a tour of the plant, whereby they saw first-hand what it was like to work as an engineer and the different engineering processes used at Medentech. After a very successful morning and to mark the energy, enthusiasm and effort that the students applied to achieving the learning outcomes of the programme each student was presented with a certificate of achievement.

Deirdre Forte, Senior HR Manager at Medentech commented: “Medentech have partnered with Junior Achievement for a number of years now, and we are delighted to host the school to work event again this year.  We are pleased to be able to offer the students an insight into the world of work and highlight the benefits a career in engineering can offer the future workforce of Wexford.  Participation in Junior Achievement programmes is a wonderful opportunity for Medentech to engage with the community and get involved with local schools.  Indeed, many of our workforce have children participating in our programmes who thoroughly enjoy the experience.”

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