Secondary school students join Keith Reilly, Molex, Helen Downes, Shannon Chamber and Angela Higgins, Molex to commence their week-long TY programme. Photo: Eamon Ward.
Following months of detailed planning, a new structured week-long transition year (TY) programme was launched this week in Shannon, led by Molex Ireland in conjunction with Shannon Chamber and involving Intel, Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon, Reagecon, Chemifoc and Zimmer Biomet
The programme, referred to as STEM Shannon, has been created to put the spotlight on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and is geared towards showcasing the career opportunities in these fields. The programme, which sees the group spend the first two days in Molex and the third day in Intel, before breaking into separate groups of six to move between Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon, Molex, Reagecon, Chemifloc and Zimmer Biomet, gaining a cumulative five days’ work experience. Throughout their time in the organisations students will be involved in briefings, interactive engineering games, plant tours, demo workshops, conversations with a variety of engineers in companies, lab demos and testing and chemistry experiments, giving students a greater insight into the world of engineering
Students from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School in Shannon; St Caimin’s, Shannon, St Flannan’s College, Ennis, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon, St Clement’s College, Limerick, Scoil Ruain, Killenaule, Co Tipperary, and Carndonagh Community School in Donegal all began the programme this week.
Speaking at the programme launch, Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes said: “This programme is the brainchild of Molex, who wanted to give their employees’ children a most broad-based appreciation of the jobs’ scope that STEM offers. We expanded the concept to extend the offer to children from local and neighbouring schools
“We were delighted when they approached us to see if we could interest other companies in Shannon in joining forces with them to put together a programme that would enable TY students to spend time in different engineering environments. They wanted students, particularly girls, to know that science and engineering is a very exciting career choice with enormous potential. We had tremendous buy-in from the companies but had to limit the number of students to 12 and the number of companies to 6 for this pilot initiative. We now have something to build on for next year and plan on expanding on what we have introduced this year. Once the concept is established, it could act as a model for other communities and regions throughout Ireland.
The initiative was started by Keith Reilly, design engineer and Angela Higgins, senior test engineer in Molex who said: “This programme aligns with our mission to raise interest in manufacturing technology and inspire secondary school students to pursue careers in those fields.”