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Teagasc Supporting Smart Futures and SciFest

Teagasc is partnering with Smart Futures and SciFest to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Smart Futures (www.SmartFutures.ie) is a collaborative programme between government and industry that promotes careers in STEM to post-primary students, parents and guidance counsellors. This year, Smart Futures is partnering with SciFest (www.SciFest.ie), a national science competition which sees schools across Ireland take part in science fairs. Students with winning projects go to compete in regional heats in the Institutes of Technology in a bid to make it to the national final.

“I am delighted that six of our researchers are involved in promoting STEM careers to young students,” said Teagasc Director of Research, Dr Frank O’Mara. “I am sure students will be excited, and maybe a little surprised, about the great opportunities for STEM related careers in the agri-food industry. We recognise the importance of bringing new talent into the industry, and as one example, our Walsh Fellowship programme currently has over 200 students. They are mostly engaged in research towards PhD degrees across a range of exciting topics and many will subsequently develop STEM related careers.”

Dr Rita Hickey, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, who spoke at the University of Limerick last year and this year will be speaking at Limerick IT, says: “Smart Futures is an excellent way of introducing secondary school students to careers in science that they may not have been aware of previously. Students will automatically think of the more traditional roles in science and not realise that alternative options exist.”

Donna McCabe, Media & Communications Executive, SFI Discover, says: “Smart Futures is delivering STEM career talks to students at these regional events in a number of Institutes of Technology and is delighted to be partnering with STEM organisations, such as Teagasc, to introduce students to real scientists and engineers.”

Teagasc researchers will give presentations at the following Institutes of Technology (IT):

Athlone IT 1.15pm Dr Dilip Rai, Ashtown 30 April
Limerick IT 12.45pm Dr. Rita Hickey, Moorepark 2 May
Dundalk IT 12.45pm Dr. Sinead McCarthy, Ashtown 7 May
IT Tralee 10.00am Dr. Daire O'Huallachain, Johnstown Castle 8 May
Sligo IT 1.00pm Dr. Anne Mullen, Ashtown 14 May