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DCU launches 2021 STInt Programme to inspire innovative learning in STEM Education


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 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.

Prof. Eilish McLoughlin

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DCU Programme Coordinator Associate Professor Eilish McLoughlin, Director of the CASTeL research centre for STEM Education explained, “The impact of this programme is such that it extends and deepens these teacher’s competences and knowledge of STEM and promotes innovation and creativity in the teaching and learning of STEM in their classrooms/schools. After graduation, STInt Interns will teach STEM subjects in Irish schools and inspire generations of primary and second level students during their teaching careers.”

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Professor Deirdre Butler

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DCU Programme Coordinator Professor Deirdre Butler, DCU Institute of Education and CASTeL emphasised that, “engagement in such partnerships is critical as what teachers know and can do is the most important influence on what students learn. The importance of developing teachers’ STEM competences cannot be emphasised enough, especially as teacher quality, not funding, is the determinant factor among conditions that support the performance of the world’s best education systems”. 

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