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Education Committee Showcases STEM in Action

The Assembly Committee for Education yesterday celebrated the innovation and enthusiasm of talented young scientists from local primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland.

The STEM in Action Event hosted in partnership with Sentinus highlighted a number of interactive STEM projects, showcasing the skills of students in areas such as construction and robotics.

Speaking after yesterday’s event, Committee for Education Chairperson Michelle McIlveen MLA said: “The Committee was absolutely delighted to host today’s event and to meet with such talented and highly skilled young people. STEM is crucial to our economic development and if we are serious about promoting this important subject we need to ensure that our primary pupils are given every opportunity to get involved in STEM based learning at an early age. This will hopefully lead to pupils from all manner of backgrounds helping to create and develop what some people call ‘science capital’’.

STEM skills have recently been used to great effect by the creative industries in Northern Ireland.  Film and other Arts-based endeavours could provide a gateway for more and better involvement in STEM subjects by school pupils. 

Ms McIlveen concluded: “We must take every opportunity to encourage our children to aspire towards careers in the STEM based industries and to imbue in them a sense of confidence that they can and will succeed. The level of enthusiasm from both pupils and their teachers here today underlines that many of our young people are already inspired by STEM. It is crucial that we all work harder together to ensure that we continue to support and promote the benefits of STEM to future generations”.

Speaking after the event Jim Stewart CBE, Chairman of Sentinus, added: “Each academic year Sentinus works alongside schools and local businesses to provide pupils of all ages and abilities exposure to practical, real world challenges that STEM subjects are crucial in solving. The variety of programmes on offer helps to increase teacher effectiveness and student achievement while demonstrating how STEM experiences in the classroom can be translated into future careers.

“Today’s STEM in Action celebration has showcased a selection of the popular Sentinus programmes that task school children with using their STEM skills to develop innovative and creative solutions to challenges currently facing industry.

Mr Stewart concluded:  “By exhibiting the work of school children to Ministers, MLAs and business leaders here at Parliament Buildings, we hope to reinforce the message that investing in our younger generation’s development in STEM is pivotal in building a solid knowledge economy for Northern Ireland.”

Notes to Editors:

STEM is the acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Sentinus is a not for profit educational charity which works with schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland to deliver programmes which promote engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Sentinus “Stem in Action” event involved teachers and pupils from over 11 primary and post-primary schools from across Northern Ireland.

Education Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Michelle McIlveen MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Danny Kinahan MLA

Jonathan Craig MLA

Chris Hazzard MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Maeve McLaughlin MLA

Stephen Moutray MLA

Robin Newton MLA

Sandra Overend MLA

Sean Rogers MLA

Pat Sheehan MLA


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