Midlands Science Diaspora
Midlands Science has a unique role to play in the process of developing future diaspora for Ireland by developing a database of Irish leaders in key locations and by providing international economic, cultural and cross-border links that will add-value and innovation to this region and its international partners.
A key focus for us in recent years has been on deepening relationships with diaspora with a background in science, engineering or a related industry discipline.
There are many Irish and Irish American people who have made a significant contribution to science abroad but future success will be achieved through collaborations, sharing of knowledge and working together.
The Midlands science diaspora project provides a platform for like-minded people to connect and hopefully create mutually beneficial opportunities, particularly those with a STEM related focus.
SWIM(Science with Inspirational Mentors)
The purpose of the SWIM project is to create more interest in STEM subjects and careers in the Midlands region, with a particular reference to the life sciences sector, which has a strong presence here and potential for growth. We are designing pilot programmes to increase student interest in Life Sciences subjects and careers.
The project places a strong emphasis on mentoring from those in the education and industry sectors and also from role models and other champions for Life Sciences education.
SWIM provides the following interventions over a 12 month period – internships partnerships, teacher training, life sciences camps, the Midlands Life Sciences Careers Fair, competitions, pop up labs, plant visits and life sciences role models.
This is currently being delivered in partnership with AMBER Centre, TCD and RCSI and Cpl Resources.
Maths (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies), is a Canadian organization and a registered charity which champions innovative methods to stimulate enthusiasm and improve educational attainment in Mathematics. The Maths philosophy is founded on a belief that all children have the capability to perform well in Maths and its methods aim to remove common myths and psychological barriers to effective learning in this essential subject.
The delivery of the programme to the Midlands is a collaborative initiative between development agency Atlantic Corridor and LM Ericsson (as above) who have worked jointly with founder, John Mighton, to promote this fresh approach and the results are already encouraging. Atlantic Corridor is now also working with Midlands based company, RR Projects, to deliver Maths to two additional schools and commenced in September 2014.
Another of our highly important STEM initiatives is the Atlantic Conference, which has been running since 2008 in the Midlands. Keynote addresses have been delivered by Carol Lynne Parente, Lord Robert Winston, Executive Producer of Sesame Street and Dr Ben Goldacre, author of the Guardian newspaper’s weekly column called Bad Science.
This event gives industry professionals such as teachers, lecturers and anyone connected to the education sector the opportunity to examine the quality in the way in which certain subjects are taught. The conference also runs a student workshop in parallel with its main sessions and these workshops have focused on the views of students on education and have included students working on their education views with Ericsson, Facebook and the Science Gallery.