Dublin City University launches 2018 STEM Teacher Internship programme
Dublin City University has launched this year's STEM Teacher Internship programme, developed in partnership with Accenture, AIB, Intel and the 30% Club, it aims to help young teachers educate future students about career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM).
Research has found that teachers are key influencers of students’ subject choices, second only to parents.
Through the internships, pre-service STEM teachers will gain hands-on experience of the many careers and opportunities available within STEM industries.
This, in turn, will help them to encourage participation by their own students, particularly female students, in STEM subjects.
This year, the programme invites applications from both primary and post-primary teacher education programmes at DCU with the opportunity now extended to include students from the B.Ed Primary Teacher Education specialising in Digital Learning.
In a further boost, through the support of the Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) group , Vodafone and Virgin Media have also come on board as host companies for the 2018 programme.
Eilish McLoughlin, Associate Professor in Physics and Director of the CASTeL research centre for STEM Education explained:
“This programme offers DCU pre-service STEM teachers a unique opportunity to gain experience of working in STEM and deepen their awareness of careers and the variety of roles that STEM graduates take on in organisations.
The impact of this programme is such that it extends and deepens teachers' competences and knowledge of STEM and enhances the teaching and learning of STEM in their classrooms/schools."
Dublin City University, Accenture and the 30% Club launched the pilot internship programme in 2016.
Over the past two years, the programme has provided opportunities for eleven third year students from the BSc Science Education to complete a twelve-week paid internship in Accenture, AIB and Intel.
Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU emphasised the national importance of this initiative:
“At DCU our student teachers engage with educators who are at the cutting edge of knowledge and practice in 21st Century education, particularly in the area of STEM education.
Our students, the educators of tomorrow, will have a key role to play in sparking and encouraging interest in STEM subjects, particularly amongst young female students.”
Julie Robinson, BSc in Science Education, who completed an internship this year with AIB, spoke about her intern experience and its value in her preparation as a future science and mathematics teacher:
“One of the most important things I learnt from my internship in AIB was the significance of technology applied to banking.
I had the opportunity to work in many different departments where I learnt a range of different skills.
I think the STEM internship is a huge opportunity for teachers, it gives us the chance to understand the wide variety of careers that subjects like science and maths offer.
It has also highlighted to me skills that I can pass on in the classroom which can be of benefit to students who wish to pursue these careers.”