SFI has awarded EPI•STEM, the National Centre for STEM Education an award of €35,880 for it’s project ‘STEMChat’. STEMChAT – Women as catalysts for change in STEM education (UL) – looks at the recruitment of female undergraduate STEM Champions and industry mentors who will facilitate informal workshops with school students and parents, predominantly in disadvantaged areas. This project develops innovative approaches to address the serious under-representation of women in the STEM workforce in Ireland. By creating new, engaging approaches to providing career information for school students and parents, our project will address barriers to STEM careers experienced by females that were identified in the 2016 report on STEM Education in the Irish School System: The distinctive feature of our project is the recruitment of female undergraduate STEM Champions and industry mentors who will facilitate informal, small-group workshops with school students and parents, predominantly in disadvantaged areas. Resource packages based on these workshops will be developed and disseminated to participating schools and career guidance counsellors. Our approach capitalises on the successful partnership between EPI•STEM (University of Limerick) and Johnson and Johnson – the WiSTEM2D programme (https://www.ul.ie/news-centre/news/more-female-role-models-needed-in-stem), which empowers females studying STEM in third level by increasing their STEM networks, connecting them to STEM industry role models and debating gender stereotypes in STEM.
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