Annual Report 2001 - Irish Centre for Talented Youth

annual report 2001

irish centre for talented youth

Director: Dr Sheila Gilheany
Unit Report

  • Out of Dublin summer courses offered for the first time in Cork and Limerick and the establishment of Saturday classes in two new sites, Athlone and Waterford.
  • The very welcome provision of new offices for CTYI in the old library area.
  • The Pfizer Science Bus - a mobile lab which visits primary schools, has had 12,000 children on board since its launch in March 2000.

The Irish Centre for Talented Youth (CTYI) has completed its 9th year providing academic services for young highly able students aged 8-16 years. Such students require a high degree of academic challenge and many may also feel isolated in their usual academic environment. The Centre seeks to address their needs by providing Saturday classes, Discovery Days, residential summer programmes and correspondence courses, together with teacher training, parent counselling and research. All students wishing to take part in the programme are assessed and much reach a high standard in the areas of mathematical and/or verbal reasoning ability. Typically, 13 year olds work at first year university level. This year almost 1700 students applied to take assessment tests at the centre.

In common with every other year at CTYI, student numbers have increased; this year by 39% on 1999-2000. Over 2300 students took part in more than 120 courses given at weekends and during the summer months. Students come from all over Ireland and abroad. In the summer of 2001, over 20% of students were from overseas. Weekend classes were extended to Athlone and Waterford along with classes in Cork, Limerick, Letterkenny and of course Dublin with 968 participating students. Correspondence courses were held for over 100 students.

Just some of the academic areas covered were, Architecture, Astronomy, Aviation Studies, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Legal Studies, Economics, Marketing, Decision Maths, Archaeology, Creative Writing and Politics

During the year a number of once-off events were held attracting over 1500 parents and teachers to the campus. These included the Centre's annual award ceremony and Discovery Days in Marketing. Staff from the Centre also held a series of public meetings throughout the country to raise awareness of the issues in gifted education. Teacher training has been provided to over 300 teachers through visits to primary and secondary schools. Research in the area of giftedness continued in the Centre, with a student registering to take a PhD and a number of papers presented at international conferences.

Pfizer Science Bus
The Pfizer Science Bus has had an exceptionally busy year with visits to over 200 schools with some 12,000 children on board carrying out a range of experiments across the sciences. The Bus has made visits to schools as far apart as Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Tipperary, Waterford, Cavan, Monaghan and Portlaoise. In addition to regular school visits, the Bus has taken part in a number of events such as community festivals, summer library projects and the summer camp at Barretstown Castle for seriously ill children. An extensive web site with further information on experiments and links to other good sites was also established (

The Bus was originally established through donations from the health care group, Pfizer and the DCU Educational Trust. In this year, Pfizer have agreed a further donation of US$75,000 towards the work of the Bus.

Testing Centre
The Centre provides a range of computer based testing services for the USA based company, Prometric. Exams which are administered include, Graduate Record Exam, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and the USA Medical Licensing Exams (USMLE). The Centre has expanded its testing activities, with approximately 40 examinations being administered per week compared with 25 per week last year. In addition CTYI also provides paper and pencil testing services for APICS (American Product and Inventory Control Society) and more recently for Executive Education within DCU. Over 35 testing sessions were arranged in the past year. This has generated additional income for CTYI.

This high level of activity for the Centre would not have been possible without the provision of new offices with additional space in the university. In the year 2000-2001, there were 10 full time staff employed along with over 200 part-time staff.