Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair Engineers an Interest in STEM

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On 17 May, one hundred 6th class students from Talbot National School, Clondalkin enjoyed specially-developed workshops facilitated by volunteers at the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair in partnership with JAI.

Taking place at the Institute of Technology Tallaght (IT Tallaght) the Johnson & Johnson Science Fair enabled primary school students to gain Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (STEM2D) skills and learn more about STEM-related roles, while particular emphasis was given to girls interacting with female role models at the workshops.

JJ Volunteer Siobhan Murphy with students Andrea Thorp Lolly SaluJ&J Volunteer Siobhan Murphy with students Andrea Thorp and Lolly SaluThe interactive workshops led by trained Johnson & Johnson volunteers ranged from designing a new “medicine”, taking on the role of biomedical scientists, and conducting laboratory research to working as engineers to consider design concepts. An overview of the different opportunities to study STEM-related courses at IT Tallaght and an address from the College Registrar, along with a tour of the campus by student ambassadors were also important elements of the day.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Youth Programme has been designed to advance STEM2D education, specifically of young women and girls globally, through community-based partnerships to reach over 1 million girls by 2020.

The Johnson & Johnson’s Science Fair is just one of many opportunities afforded to students thanks to J&J’s support of JAI. Across Campus Ireland, 175 J&J volunteers will reach 2,350 young people this school year through Junior Achievement programmes designed to encourage young people to remain in education and help them to develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world.

Cathal Carty, Home School Liaison Officer at Talbot National School, commented: “Our students thoroughly enjoyed the J&J Science Fair as it really brought the STEM subjects to life in a fun accessible way. Our J&J volunteers were great role models from industry, who underlined the range of career opportunities flowing from STEM subjects.”

JJ1J&J volunteers celebrate with students from Talbot National SchoolLeisha Daly, Country Director at Janssen Sciences Ireland UC, part of the J&J family of companies, said: “It is vitally important to develop an interest in STEM before students enter second level education. The need to ensure more women see a future for themselves in STEM industries is well documented. Initiatives like the Johnson & Johnson Science Fair, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland, is an inventive way of tackling this issue.”

Helen Raftery, Chief Executive of JAI, said: “The educational value of students working with role models and getting the chance to learn in a different environment is well-established. Thanks to J&J, the students participating in the J&J Science Fair at IT Tallaght had a very exciting introduction to a variety of interesting topics in the workshops on campus. It is particularly pleasing to note that the girls attending today got so much encouragement to reach their full potential by considering one of the many careers available to them in to STEM2D -related roles.”

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