Wide view of a panel discussion at the STInt event held in Limerick.

STInt hold industry engagement and mid-summer reflection events

The STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme has recently held two events as part of the wide-reaching programme.

On 26 June, STInt in partnership with Skillnet Ireland, hosted an industry event in Limerick, “Using Generative AI in Education for the Benefit of Society and Enterprise”. The guest speaker Prof. Alan Smeaton from Insight Science Research Centre (SFI) for Data Analytics based at Dublin City University (DCU), opened the event with a keynote address on his use of Generative AI in Education and how AI should be embraced. A key take-aways from his talk, “[Generative] AI is going to happen – in teaching and learning – you can design out, or design in”. 

Following Smeaton’s keynote, Kiara O’Keeffe from Northern Trust Bank Limerick, facilitated a panel discussion. The panel members were Jennifer McKenna, STInt Industry Liaison Officer Intel, Seamus Keating,  Department of Education, Gerard Bennett, 2023  STInt Intern and Jackie Kehoe, Cyber Skills STInt Host 2024.

The panel discussed the important role that AI will play in all aspects of our lives, particularly its  influence on education and industry. They also discussed the impact the skills shortage will have on Ireland’s STEM industry and how participating in an initiative like the STEM Teacher Internship Programme, can help address that issue. They highlighted how teachers with industry experience can harness their real world applications of STEM to encourage youth, especially girls, to engage in STEM subjects and pursue STEM careers. Finally, the panel discussed the opportunities available for education and industry partnerships and how these relationships evolve over time.  Panellists acknowledged how engaging with initiatives like STInt unify learners, teachers, industry to the benefit of the Irish STEM pipeline.

Thank you to Skillnet Ireland and Clayton Hotel for supporting the STInt programme and collaborating in the day’s activities.

A group shot of the STInt team outside the Microsoft building.

Not only is the STEM Teacher Internship Programme connecting with industry, the STInt interns, recently connected as well. 

On 8th July, the STInt team based in DCU and over 60 of this year’s summer interns reserved the day to complete training at Microsoft Dreamspace and reflect on internships half-way through the programme. The interns were trained by Dreamspace facilitators specialised in STEM, some of whom are teachers themselves. The three workshop sessions were focussed on coding and computational thinking. The interns collaborated to learn the basics of coding, and coding logic, then used their skills to modify videogames and create functional robots. 

The goal is for the pre-service and in-service teacher interns to use what they learn and recreate it in their own classrooms. Throughout the educational workshops the facilitators highlighted how to modify the curricula and programmes used to meet their student’s needs, adjust for grade level and computer science skill. 

STInt interns also heard from TrailblazHer, a programme that supports women with unique backgrounds and challenges pursue their goals for higher education, entrepreneurship and more with commitment to advancing gender equity.

As this is one of the few in-person opportunities the STInt interns from around the country have to socialise, share ideas, and elaborate on what their jobs truly entail, the check-in session was quite enlightening for all. The STInt team is eager to learn what the rest of their industry internships will look like, what skills they learn and most importantly, what they would like to bring back to the classroom.

Thank you to Microsoft Ireland for facilitating the day’s workshops with our 2024 interns and continuing to support the programme as an industry host to three fantastic pre-service and early career STEM teachers.

The STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Programme is a national programme founded by Dr. Eilish McLoughlin and Prof. Deirdre Butler in 2016 which provides pre-service and early career teachers with paid summer internships (8-12 weeks) in STEM roles across a variety of industries in Ireland. The goal is to ensure the teachers are well prepared to educate, and inspire students to engage with STEM, pursue STEM careers, and bolster the STEM pipeline. STInt’s greater vision is to see education, industry and research partnerships help shape the futures of youth and ensure STEM competencies thrive in our ever-changing and complex world. 

If you are interested in the programme, curious about companies who are STInt hosts, or searching for STInt intern eligibility, please learn more on our website. and follow us on LinkedIn and on X.