STEM facility is huge boost for young people

By Mary Dennehy

THE opening of a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) facility at Citywise in Jobstown has been hailed as an important step for Tallaght and its young people, The Echo has been told.

On Thursday, June 21, the STEMSquare at Citywise facility was officially opened by Minister for Education, Richard Bruton TD – who was treated to robot demos by Tallaght’s young STEM experts.

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Costing in the region of €240k, the facility boasts a digital classroom, lecture hall and 3D printing and robotic labs, which are equipped with future technologies and instruments for young people to learn how robots and computers work.

Christopher Smith, of Citywise Education, told The Echo: “The future of jobs will involve some form of technology and we want to equip young people with the technical literacy, or technical skill, to give them an edge in the work place.

“Young people are using technology at a very fast rate but it’s not always in a productive way.

“However, they can re-direct that interest into learning about robotics, coding, digital media and 3D printing.

“Our after-school STEM programmes have some scripted classes but they are kid-led and it is their ideas coming to life.

“We give them the basics but they take it to a different level.”

City Wise 04 

According to Christopher, the STEM facility is a culmination of years of work by Citywise with young people, who not only have interest in STEM programmes but have enjoyed much success – with Citywise scooping two SciFest awards, Coder Dojo recognition and eight Lego League awards, including an All-Ireland.

“Most of the STEM programmes are informal learning,” Christopher said.

“Young people respond well to this and they are learning skills that will prepare them for future jobs.

“We are based in an area with lots of multi-national companies and we want young people to be able to take advantage of this.

“This STEM facility is an important step for the people of Tallaght.”

All after-school programmes at STEMSquare at Citywise are open to young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years.

The facility has become a reality thanks to main sponsor SalesForce and a number of grants and corporate donations, including support from South Dublin County Council.

The community’s support of Citywise’s weekly draw has also supported the development.

For further details visit www.citywise.ie, call 4049736 or drop into the Citywise building on Fortunestown Way.

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