A free children’s workshop on science, technology, engineering and maths in Portlaoise this month is aimed at filling a predicted “skills shortage” in coming years.
‘Thinking STEM’ is for 5th class students and their parents, in the laboratories of Portlaoise College, run by the school in partnership with Laois Education Centre.
As well as hands-on workshops, there will be talks on moving to secondary school, project maths, and career opportunities, with a free resource pack and a certificate of participation for each student.
Jim Enright, Director of Laois Education Centre says the trend away from STEM subjects must be reversed.
“Many young people are entering both secondary and higher education, however fewer students are choosing science, technology, engineering and maths which is resulting in a skills shortage. The key to reversing this trend is to inspire and enthuse young people throughout their school education and it is the intention that these workshops and information sessions for both students and parents will achieve that,” he said.
The Principal of Portlaoise College Noel Daly says the workshop was expanded after the success of last year.
“Our teachers are passionate about their subjects, we always promoted STEM subjects with local primary schools in previous years and we are delighted this year to expand the experience for students across Laois,” he said.
He said the demand for STEM graduates is growing as European economies recover.
“The 5th class pupils attending the workshops will be entering third level in 6 to 7 years. We need to further and promote their interest in STEM subjects so the courses they choose for 3rd level will leave them well placed to capitalise on this demand,” he said.
The Workshop/Conference takes place on Monday evening March 23 from 6pm to 8.30pm, run by experienced teachers in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects.
Booking is essential with places limited, on a first come basis.