STEM Teacher Internship secures funding for next three years
The STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme has secured funding for the next three years. The programme supports internship opportunities for trainee teachers across seven universities in Ireland.
STInt is a Dublin City University initiative that promotes innovative learning in STEM education. Funding of just under €1 million will be provided by Skillnet Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and Intel to facilitate the further development of the Programme.
This summer over 80 pre-service and early career STEM teachers will work as interns in 47 host companies across a range of contexts including fully remote, onsite and hybrid. Through engagement in these 12-week paid internships, the teachers gain hands-on experiences of a wide range of careers and opportunities available within STEM industries.
To date, STInt has placed 177 STEM teachers in hands-on roles in over 40 of Ireland’s leading companies. As a result of their STInt experience, many teachers will help to inspire future generations of their own students to pursue a career in STEM.
The mission of the STEM Teacher internship programme is to inspire innovative learning by facilitating collaborative STEM partnerships between key stakeholders in schools, universities, and industry. Established by DCU in 2016, it has evolved to an award-winning national programme offering internship opportunities to pre-service and early career teachers from a range of STEM specialisms in Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin, University of Galway, and University of Limerick.
The STInt programme offers STEM teachers, at primary and post-primary levels, the opportunity to work with host organisations in industry over a three-month period during the summer. This national programme is led by STEM education academics Associate Professor Eilish McLoughlin and Professor Deirdre Butler from DCU’s CASTel’s research centre.
It also offers both pre-service and early career STEM teachers, at primary and post-primary levels, the opportunity to work with host organisations in industry over a three-month period during the summer. In 2016, Dublin City University, together with Accenture and the 30% Club Ireland, launched the pilot internship programme aimed at developing pre-service STEM teachers’ understanding of the range of careers in STEM industries and to provide them with hands-on experience in a corporate environment.
The programme is led by STEM education academics Associate Professor Eilish McLoughlin and Professor Deirdre Butler from DCU’s CASTel’s research centre. Through the support of strategic partners, 30% Club Ireland, Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) group and Science Foundation Ireland, the programme has been expanded to include host organisations across a range of industrial sectors, including technology, pharma, medical devices, utilities, financial and professional services.
“Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support the STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme which gives teachers valuable exposure to real life applications of STEM knowledge and the opportunity to see STEM careers in action,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland.
“By bringing together champions in industry and education to work together in this holistic manner, we are growing the pool of STEM role models for our young people. Teachers can explore the role of STEM in addressing many pressing and varied community, national and international issues and grow their confidence to effectively communicate and debate these topics with their pupils. If our teachers can help shine a light on the contribution of STEM and STEM career opportunities, our communities will be assured of a brighter future.”
Prof Dáire Keogh, president of Dublin City University, said: “Dublin City University is very proud to be an integral part of the uniquely global STEM Teacher Internship programme. From its inception, the programme has sought to offer STEM teachers the opportunity to bring new perspectives to their learners in the classroom, new and innovative ways of engaging with content while supporting learners to become critical and engaged thinkers, championing STEM careers, shaping and transforming the future of STEM across the country. Its success is evident as many different sectors have gathered behind this project because they are committed to ensuring that our teachers, and in turn our children and young people, have access to the knowledge and expertise needed to transform lives and societies well into the future.”