ATU has two successful projects of 47 to share in the €3.7 million funding announced. The funding will be focused on encouraging diversity and inclusion in STEM, while also targeting a wide range of ages including young children, teens and adults.
Announcing the funding, Minister Harris said:
“I am delighted to announce today the 47 projects receiving funding through the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme.These projects will have an invaluable impact, starting conversations about the role of STEM in society and inspiring our young people to explore careers in these areas.Through initiatives such as the SFI Discover Programme, we must support the public to have access to, and understand, the issues that impact our collective future, and the role science and technology can play in providing solutions. I wish all the recipients every success in the rollout of their projects.”
Speaking of the projects co-funded by the Department of Education, Minister Foley said:
“We are pleased to collaborate with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science by supporting five projects that will receive funding through the SFI Discover Programme. These projects are designed to grow and encourage participation in STEM education and public engagement, inspiring our young people to explore STEM roles in the future. I want to congratulate all of the individuals and teams involved in their work to date on these projects.”
Atlantic TU secured €50,000 for The Engineering North West project which engages communities in the region through entertaining and educational events and school projects. Nationally, skill shortages in engineering threaten economic and environmental sustainability and much needs to be done to encourage many more young people to consider future careers in engineering and technology.
The funding received for this project will enable ATU to engage more schools in its two main annual events; Engineering and Technology EXPO and Engineering Fair.
The second Atlantic Technological University project to succeed in funding is the Current Chemistry Investigators, with university partners, Trinity College Dublin. Together they secured €235,696 to promote STEM engagement in Secondary schools and the community. Upcoming community events for the summer include The Dublin Marker Festival and the Cork Festival of Science. Ambassadors at Atlantic TU, Sligo will work alongside Trinity College Dublin ambassadors at these events.
This project aims to improve STEM awareness and the contribution and impact of electrochemistry and analytical science in everyday life from clinical measurements to environmental sustainability. ATU will host workshops aimed at TY, 5th and 6th year students and will be holding on campus and in school workshops from September 2022.
Welcoming the announcement, President of Atlantic TU, Dr Orla Flynn said:
“ATU is committed to encouraging more young people to seek careers in STEM. The west and northwest is fast becoming the epicentre of STEM with some of the biggest names across all the industries expanding operations in recent years. The opportunity for young people to establish a meaningful and rewarding career in STEM in the region has never been more achievable and with this funding we hope to inspire the next generation to explore an exciting future in STEM.”