STEM Passport for Inclusion

Coláiste Muire are delighted to have been accepted again into this project for the next academic year 2022/23. We can nominate 20 students.

The STEM passport for Inclusion was run over 3 separate full days at the Research, Development and Innovation Hub in Killorglan, Co. Kerry. It is a new initiative from MTU and Maynooth University, which was coordinated for the first time by Rachel O’Shea from the RDI hub and being delivered by professionals from Microsoft’s Dream Space department. Their aim is to provide immersive, research-based STEM experiences for students to enhance fundamental skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. It gives them an opportunity to see the power of digital technology and the crucial role it plays in our lives today and into the future.

 

The girls were assigned into groups of 3 to 5. Each day started off with a hour-long session with a mentor from the Tech Industry where they have a chance to debrief from previous sessions, discuss various topics and brainstorm innovative ideas.

 

Module 1 Focused on Data Science and Computational Thinking, finishing with a lively Debate about Artificial Intelligence

Module 2 was a very practical and hands on Programming session using Microbits, laptops and the Python programming language.

Module 3 brought their ideas for a tech product through the full lifecycle from initial conception, design, prototyping, testing and on to market. This culminated in a very exciting and professional Dragons Den competition. Each team pitched and presented their idea to the Dream Space and RDI judges and one of our teams consisting of Jennifer Weston, Maeve Begley and Jessica Brophy, were delighted to be awarded winners with their pain Diagnosis App.

 

The group have one final assignment to complete over the next two months which will be in the form of a college level research paper to complete this Level 6 qualification.

 

This initiative is particularity aimed at Girls in STEM. Having completed the full 3 modules and all assignments and course work, they will be awarded a certificate from the MTU on completion and an invitation to a graduation ceremony in Tralee Campus to be held in the coming months for all 260 graduates from 16 schools across the Munster region. An extra bonus is that participants will receive an additional 50 points on their CAO if they wish to take up any STEM 3rd level course in MTU (Cork or Tralee). Maynooth are also on track to award this 50 points bonus and are finalising this currently.