The STEM-Passport for Inclusion project (STEMP.inc), led by ALL (Assisting Living & Learning) Institute member Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Department of Psychology, aims to transform how disadvantaged women gain access to STEM courses. Young women from socially-economically disadvantaged (SED) backgrounds are not accessing STEM careers, due to a myriad of factors that include a lack role models, reduced STEM capital, and limited availability of STEM subjects.
STEMP.inc is a total €1 million project, receiving funding of €299,955 under SFI Ireland Discover Programme announced today, together with funding of €700,000 from industry and education partners, including financial support of €200,000 from Microsoft Ireland; support from RDI Hub Kerry (€40,000) and Prodigy Learning (€20,000). Accenture Ireland will provide support through developing and delivering the mentoring programme contributing 200 staff hours per year.
STEMP.inc aims to challenge gender bias and support women to access STEM skills, through a three-tiered programme of STEM supports. Through partnership with the RDI Hub, Accenture, Microsoft, TeenTurn, Maynooth University and Munster Technological University, this project will make key changes to the existing systems, by researching and developing:
an accredited STEM skills programme, preparing 1000 disadvantaged girls from Munster and Leinster for STEM courses;
an accredited pathway into both Universities -- facilitating entry to STEM degree courses for disadvantaged girls who do not meet University matriculation requirements who have participated in the STEM skills programme and;
a digital platform where girls are provided with a STEM profile where their STEM needs are identified and where all STEM activities, courses and career opportunities are housed.
A digital platform will also support STEM stakeholders, including students, NGOs, universities, schools, employers and policy makers, across Ireland to prepare young people for STEM futures. The project will serve as a pilot for a national STEM access programme by streamlining all STEM opportunities onto one digital platform called the STEM Passport.
Dr Katriona O’Sullivan’s research is supported by Dr Aidan Mooney, Department of Computer Science at MU, Declan Markey from Maynooth Access Programme and Professor Gemma Irvine, the Vice President of Equality and Diversity at Maynooth University. Dr O’Sullivan is partnering with Munster Technology University on this project with Dr Helena McMahon supporting both development and delivery. Teen-Turn and Mercy Inchicore Secondary School are also partnering with Dr O’Sullivan to recruit young women and deliver the STEM activities.