South Armagh Primary School celebrate success of Science Project

Newry Times News Posted by
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The future prosperity of the economy will be founded on STEM.

Pupils from St Brigid’s Primary School, Crossmaglen with Education Minister John O’Dowd

That was the message from Education Minister, John O’Dowd, this week as he attended the ‘Smart Technology’ celebration event in Belfast

Over 90 trainee teachers and 2,000 primary school children across the north have teamed up in recent months to improve teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as part of the Sentinus ‘Smart Technology’ programme.

The programme culminated in a celebration and award event held at the Ramada Hotel Belfast.

Speaking during the event at the Ramada Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, the Minister said, “Schools which afford science and technology a priority in both their curriculum and their extra-curricular activities will help create the workforce to meet the expected demand in STEM jobs in the coming years.

“This year’s programme includes a robotics and computer programming element because employers have told us these skills are needed now and in the future. We need to adapt and change if we are to fit with future employment requirements and that is why I want to see more pupils studying STEM subjects through to GCSE and A-Level.

He added, “It is therefore important that we spark the interest at primary level in the hope that the initial interest can be developed, nurtured and enhanced later in academic life.”

The programme delivered by Sentinus, is aimed at Key-Stage 2 and is designed to stimulate interest and excitement in science. As part of the initiative, Sentinus provides student teachers with training to equip them with the necessary skills to deliver a series of STEM workshops to primary school children over several weeks.

Commenting on the opportunities for trainee teachers, the Minister added, “The programme develops the skills and confidence of trainee teachers through school-based experience and ensures more primary school children gain meaningful, relevant, hands-on experiences in STEM.

“The programme also assists qualified classroom teachers in the teaching of science and technology and supports their continuing professional development.

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