Young participants in Sanofi STEM Zoo were inspired by the stories they heard from professionals who are building exciting careers in the STEM area
Sanofi in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland recently sponsored a unique secondary school project called ‘STEM ZOO’ which took place at WIT with all 10 secondary schools in Waterford taking part.
‘Sanofi STEM Zoo’ complements the school curriculum but also introduces practical learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects which will give the students an understanding and interest in these areas to pursue a college course in WIT and a career in Sanofi.
5th year students
The project is aimed at students in 5th year who have a specific interest in studying a course in STEM in Waterford Institute of Technology with the possibility of pursuing a career in Sanofi but may be unsure of the choices of courses or CAO points requirements and the qualifications needed for specific roles afterwards.
Business volunteers from Sanofi introduced students to the world of work in the specific fields and jobs in STEM at Sanofi by ‘telling their own story’ through their own careers.
The four different modules comprise a series of activity-based STEM education workshops taught to young people by Sanofi staff across the WIT campus followed by information from WIT staff in the STEM areas on the suggested courses/projects to consider when applying for a 3rd level qualification.
As the event is being staged in WIT, the students had the opportunity to take part in the workshops and visit the relevant areas to STEM. A WIT representative in each of these fields presented the different opportunities to study STEM subjects at WIT.
Benefits for students
Denise Power, Area Manager – South East, Junior Achievement Ireland, said: “We are all aware of the benefits for students, especially those who struggle to maximise their potential, when they can make connections between their in-school work and what they see as the ‘real world’. In our most recent survey, 263 teachers from around the country indicated they saw significant gains for their students and 98% said they would recommend Junior Achievement programmes to colleagues in other schools.
“Working with Sanofi in this case and our other industry partners helps to make the learning very real for the young people and they are inspired by the stories they hear from professionals who are building exciting careers in the STEM area – people relate to people and that’s the power we’re able to tap into with programmes like Sanofi STEM Zoo.”
Junior Achievement is a not for profit organisation that has been working with the Irish corporate sector to deliver programmes into Irish primary and secondary schools for 20 years. In the last school year, Junior Achievement volunteers delivered programmes to 60,000 students in Ireland with the support of 165 partner organisations who made available more than 3,000 volunteers.