Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are at the core of the Gas Networks Ireland business, but there’s a skills gap. Industry demand for STEM graduates still outstrips supply every year.
To help promote careers in science to young people, Gas Networks Ireland, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) has launched a new science education programme called Energize, to over 5,000 6th class students nationwide. The programme is now available to JAI volunteers to teach in the 2018/2019 school year.
Energize, which takes over from our previous programme Our Universe, comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science, from renewable energy awareness to safety in the home, including an essential module that focuses on carbon monoxide safety. It’s a class-room style science education programme for 6th class primary school students based on the ‘learning by doing’ methodology.
An integral part of Gas Networks Ireland’s Corporate Responsibility Strategy is fostering students’ interest in STEM subjects. Our aim with this programme is to cultivate an interest in science amongst students at primary school level, to encourage students to continue with the subject in second-level education. The long-term objective is to encourage greater numbers of science graduates. 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.
Our Universe was extremely successful in the last three years, reaching 15,667 students in 22 counties. A total of 631 volunteers taught the programme from 142 organisations, proving that there is substantial interest in this STEM-focused programme nationwide.