Oracle staff member Michael Finan returned to his old primary school this term to teach the 6th class Energize programme.
Michael worked with students in Gaelscoil Choláiste Mhuire, Dublin 1 and took them through the wonderful world of science. Energize, supported by Gas Networks Ireland, comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science while highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives.
Michael became first volunteered with JAI in the last school year when he delivered the JA Our World programme to 4th class students in Our Lady of Consolation National School, Donnycarney, Dublin 5. Our World introduced the students to the importance and relevance of STEM subjects to future careers.
Research on the ‘role model effect’ shows the strong influence that a positive role model can play in changing perceptions and dispelling stereotypes, particularly in relation to STEM careers. Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science.
When asked why he decided to volunteer with JAI, Michael’s response was “I love the concept! When I was a student I was delighted when people from outside our school community visited the class so I wanted to give back. I connected with the ethos of positive reinforcement around the world of work and really liked how JAI made the topics so interactive and fun. I would advise anyone to get involved as it is the most fun I have ever had while working and seeing the students enjoy themselves is the ultimate reward”.
Michael describes his JAI experience in three words: fun, rewarding and energising. He was in the first ever Junior Infants class in Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire and one of his former classmates is now the school’s Principal.
Thank you Michael for being such a fantastic advocate for STEM!