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South East

Waterford Local Enterprise Office LEAP into Action in Local Schools


200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have taken part in the Local Enterprise Achievement Programme (LEAP), sponsored by Waterford Local Enterprise Office.

At the start of the programme each class was visited by a local business person who delivered the Junior Achievement 'Our First Business' programme, empowering students to come up with their very first business idea. All the students' hard work and preparation came to fruition at the LEAP Event which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 7th and 8th June.

LEAP 2Minister John Halligan TD visiting students at their stand to hear their business ideasMinister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, who opened the LEAP Event on the 8th of June said: “Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area, which will help to ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. We must support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that they can face any challenge and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Waterford Local Enterprise Office for such a wonderful initiative.

Each day four local schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to local business people known as FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students) who questioned the students on their ideas leap 3In the middle of the action are John Halligan, Minister of State for Training and Skills; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Waterford LEO; Tom O’ Toole, Head of the School of Business, WITand offered each group a fictional investment in recognition of the potential of their business idea.

Speaking at the event Jacqui Gaule from Waterford LEO said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. The creativity and innovation showed by the students was inspiring.  To reach primary school students and sow the seed of self-employment at this young age offers us the opportunity of a bright future for entrepreneurship in Waterford. We are delighted that Junior Achievement is our partner for this project.

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Wexford Educate Together Become Town Planners in the Council Chamber!

Sharon 1Volunteers Sharon Ryan and Jess Siggins with students from Wexford Educate Together during their recent Our City Workshop3rd and 4th class from Wexford Educate Together N.S. were recently invited to the council chambers to take part in a Junior Achievement workshop called Our City. The students were joined on the morning by Sharon Ryan and Jess Siggins, two Wexford County Council volunteers who explained to them how our towns and cities are zoned into different areas for planning e.g. residential and Industrial.

Over the course of the morning, the students reviewed pictures, including one of Wexford pier, and decided which zone each picture should be placed. They then built their very own towns using pop up buildings and met with two Wexford County Council planners to discuss if the locations of their buildings were in line with Wexford town planning guidelines.

Finally, having heard from the two town planners that Wexfords new park was currently in the design stage, the students came up with their ideas and advertisements for what they would like the park to look like. Ideas included a family park, tree house park and park of fun and laughter. Thank you to Wexford County Council for a fun and informative morning!

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MSD Ballydine Promotes STEM Skills to Local Students

ballydine croppedMSD Volunteers with students from Presentation Primary School, Clonmel

On 24th May four staff from MSD (Ireland) Ballydine volunteered to deliver a STEM workshop with 5th class students from Presentation Primary School in Clonmel. Over the course of one morning they promoted the importance of STEM skills through a series of three workshops.

Students also learned about the different roles in MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and how STEM skills were a regular part of their everyday working lives. Volunteers Nuala Strappe, Linda Kehoe and Áine O’Driscoll shared their varied career paths and encouraged the students to consider the importance of these subjects in their primary and secondary school education.

Teacher Roisin Prendergast said “The 5th class girls are at a crucial level in deciding what they would like to do subject wise in secondary school so a programme like this really encourages STEM subjects. I also felt that it was very useful for the girls to meet people in different working areas of MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and to have those role models to learn from. Thank you to the ladies for giving up their time for such an important learning experience.”

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Vhi Volunteers Shine in Local Schools in Kilkenny

Our CIty Shirley traitShirley Trait with 3rd class students from St. Patrick’s De La Salle N.S., Kilkenny

Across the 2016/2017 school year, 12 volunteers from Vhi volunteered to teach JA programmes in 5 local schools reaching 303 students in Kilkenny.

The Junior Achievement programmes were taught to a wide range of students – from Senior Infants in primary school to fourth year students at second level and covered a range of topics including science, maths, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, communication and practical life skills.  Through hands-on, interactive activities, the students learned about the world of work and how their town and community operate.

Therese Bourke, Vhi , commented, “Vhi was delighted to continue our strong support of Junior Achievement Ireland to help deliver this very worthwhile activity in local Kilkenny schools.  Year on year our staff volunteer to participate and we genuinely feel that they benefit almost as much as pupils.  We are very proud to support our local schools and look forward to partnering with Junior Achievement Ireland to continue these very beneficial activities.”

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Sanofi ‘STEM Zoo’ Explores STEM In Waterford

STEM Skills, College Options & Careers Investigated

2Students, teachers and volunteers celebrate after the STEM Zoo

Sanofi have sponsored a unique secondary school project called ‘STEM Zoo’ which was hosted by the Waterford Institute of Technology and involved all 10 local Secondary schools in Waterford. Over the course of 2 days, 200 5th year students participated in Science-Technology-Engineering-Maths (STEM) activities which encouraged the students to progress to a 3rd level course in that area and enjoy a great career locally, including the possibility of a career in Sanofi.

STEM 1A STEM Zoo student designs an App‘Sanofi STEM Zoo’ was designed to complement the school curriculum and consisted of four modules covering each of the STEM subject areas. Each module was led by business volunteers from Sanofi who introduced themselves, their position in Sanofi, their career and education path to date as well as the importance of their chosen STEM discipline in a company such as Sanofi.

The students participated in interactive activities which practised and developed their STEM skills before being joined by WIT staff who offered advice on courses to consider when applying for a 3rd level qualification. As the event is staged in WIT, the students have the opportunity to see first-hand the facilities on offer should they choose to study a STEM programme in the college.

Denise Power, Area Manager – South East, Junior Achievement Ireland, commented: “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’. Working with Sanofi and other industry partners helps to make the learning very real for these 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."

7Helen Raftery, JAI; Lyn Dowling, Sanofi; Adam Wyse, Mayor of Waterford; Emma Walsh, Sanofi; Orla O’Donovan, WIT with students from Abbey Community College

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