Inspiring Innovative Learning in STEM Education

8th October 2020

Posted In: FYI

Dublin City University has launched the 2021 STInt (STEM Teacher Internship) Programme which will provide pre-service STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) teachers with the opportunity to gain skills and experiences within the STEM Industry.

The programme, which is now in its sixth year was developed together with Accenture and the 30% Club in 2016 with the overall aim of providing future STEM teachers with a personal experience of STEM roles and careers in the industry. This, in turn, will empower them to inspire future generations of their own students, particularly female students, to engage in STEM subjects and careers.

The programme is led by two DCU STEM Education academics, Associate Professor Eilish McLoughlin, Director of CASTeL and an international leader in physics teacher professional learning and Professor Deirdre Butler who specialises in Digital Learning.

To date, the programme has provided 70 DCU STEM teachers with a 12 week experience across 24 of Ireland’s leading companies. This flagship programme is supported by an education-industry collaboration that is strongly committed to supporting innovative and creative approaches to STEM education in Ireland.

The STInt programme has received strategic partnership funding from Science Foundation Ireland Discover (2020-2021) to expand and enable pre-service STEM teachers from other universities to engage in internships in a wide range of industries across Ireland. Although the 2020 programme was impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, 16 paid-internships proceeded on a remote working basis in eight participating companies Accenture, Alexion, Ericsson, Intel, Microsoft, SSE Airtricity, Takeda and Xilinx.

Dr Anne Looney, Dean of DCU Institute of Education said, “The skills that our future teachers will acquire during their internships are more important than ever. The last few months have seen dramatic changes in schools and schooling; the STint programme takes on a new importance as part of DCU’s work of preparing the teachers of the future.

Collaborating online, working in virtual teams, and the ability to design and deliver technological solutions – these are likely to be part of classroom routines for the foreseeable future.

I want to thank the leading companies who have generously agreed to support what has to be an internship this year; by hosting our students this summer, you are also reaching their future students. There is no better introduction to the STEM career opportunities than an inspiring teacher who has first-hand experience.”

Ms. Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement. Science Foundation Ireland said,  “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support the STEM Teacher Internship Programme again in 2021. Understanding how STEM is applied in the workplace is a key support for teachers trying to impart this knowledge to students.  This programme is an excellent example of industry and education working together to help teachers experience first-hand the work of scientists, engineers and technologists. Ultimately this experience helps to demystify STEM roles in the classroom and broaden the understanding of how much they contribute to our society.”

The STInt host organisations are: Abbvie, Accenture, AIB, Alexion, Allergan, Astellas, Bank of Ireland, Citibank, Deloitte, Ericsson, Gas Networks, Ervia – Irish Water, EY, Fidelity International, Fidelity Investments, GE, HPE, IBM, Intel, Mallinckrodt, Microsoft, MSD, PWC, SSE Airtricity, Stryker, Takeda, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Xilinx. In 2021, the initiative will expand to offering Internship positions in new organisations and to candidates from other Irish pre-service STEM teacher education programmes.