ESB launches Generation Tomorrow

Community - Oct 31, 2018

Business in the Community Ireland

ESB Generation Tomorrow is a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) programme dedicated to empowering young people to reach their potential and power their collective brighter future. ESB plans to invest €7.5m over the next five years to support the work of a number of partners including TechSpace (part of Camara Ireland), RDS (organisers of ESB Science Blast, a science programme for primary school pupils), UL, in a partnership supporting research and innovation in sustainable energy, and Cool Planet Experience, the world’s first permanent visitor centre dedicated to climate change.

The programme was announced by ESB Chief Executive Pat O’ Doherty at an event featuring a panel of acclaimed thought leaders on the subject from around the world in Dublin’s City Hall on Wednesday, 17th October.

At the event, Georgine Paltzer, Initiatives Manager at The LEGO Foundation spoke about the need for creative play and engaged learning  to enable  children to develop crucial 21st century skills of resilience, creativity, and problem solving. Georgine shared data from the World Economic Forum Future Jobs report which identified the three most important skills of the future as being complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity; reinforcing the importance of making play core to learning.

Also speaking at the event was Arana Shapiro, Co-Executive Director, The Institute of Play in New York. The Institute of Play is recognised globally for their innovative and accessible approach to altering education through play that is rooted in the principles of game design.  She told guests about the benefits of their approach in supporting positive learning outcomes “Our work is based on the understanding that play is critical to learning, and that young people need to be given the opportunities to take risks and fail, as that is the basis for real innovation.”

ESB Chief Executive Pat O’Doherty took to the stage with two of ESB’s new Generation Tomorrow Partners, Karen Sheeran, Science & Technology Programme Manager at the RDS and Jen Hesnan, TechSpace Programme Manager at Camara Ireland to discuss the impact of informal initiatives like ESB Science Blast and TechSpace, which emphasize inquiry-based learning and skills development in supporting positive learning outcomes for young people

He highlighted the importance of supporting STEAM education in the context of ESB’s commitment to leading the transition to a low carbon future, powered by clean electricity.

“By helping young people to develop scientific literacy and critical thinking skills through programmes that encourage curiosity and discovery, we can help them not only to become creative and innovative problem solvers, but also active and engaged citizens, capable of making informed choices to tackle climate change and other global challenges

“At ESB, we are committed to investing in individuals and communities right across the country, and we have a proud heritage of staff involvement and support in the communities we serve. Our staff will continue to play a vital role supporting our new STEAM partnerships through volunteering and mentoring programmes”

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