The future is looking bright for 2nd year students from Our Lady’s Secondary School in Templemore thanks to Catherine Larkin from Regeneron who delivered the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) supported Smart Futures workshop.
Smart Futures is a collaborative industry-education programme that provides second-level school students in Ireland with information about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
As a student, deciding what to study when leaving school can be a difficult decision. There are lots of factors to take into account: What do they enjoy studying? What are their interests outside of school? What career will best suit them? Smart Futures will help students to explore potential careers in STEM.
During her interactive workshop Catherine inspired students by sharing her own career journey from school to her position in Regeneron and provided an in-depth overview on Regeneron in Limerick and their business operations.
Catherine outlined a detailed analysis of future career possibilities in STEM which empowered students to consider Science subjects for their senior cycle and consider STEM when choosing courses in third level.
Almost five million more people with specialist digital skills are needed globally by 2023 while a recent study estimated that the average Irish worker faced a 46% probability of having their role automated by the 2030s. It is vitally important we prepare our young people to achieve success in the workplace of the future and identify where there is demand.
Regeneron in Limerick works closely with JAI in the Midwest to inspire and motivate both primary and second level students. In 2018/19 Regeneron volunteers reached over 800 students in Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Offaly.
“As a past pupil of Our Lady’s it was great to get the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the school that nurtured my love of science many years ago,” Catherine said as she commented on her experience. "I was delighted with the level of interaction from the students on the day – for such a young audience, they asked some really great questions. They were genuinely interested in the how their day to day activities link to “STEM” and the career options available to them in this exciting field. It was also great to talk about Regeneron, who we are and what we do and how the science that these students are learning can be applied within the Biopharmaceutical industry. The laboratory facilities and scientific teaching support within Our Lady’s are second to none and I look forward to returning in the future to help spread the STEM message!”
Mairead Larkin, teacher in Our Lady’s Secondary School, said: “It was an excellent workshop and Catherine provided the students with lots of examples to that all-important question often asked in Maths ‘when will we use this in real life?’ The students got to see how Maths is so important in many careers including the work carried out in Regeneron.”