Digital education centre An Cosán has announced a partnership with UCD to host a new, free STEM summer camp this year.
As an organisation, An Cosán was in mourning last month following the death of its co-founder, Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, after a short illness.
Now, keeping her memory alive, it has announced that it will host a new science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) summer camp this year as part of a partnership with University College Dublin (UCD).
The free summer camp will be hosted at UCD’s state-of-the-art facilities where students will get the chance to meet real scientists and participate in fun, interactive STEM workshops.
An Cosán said the new programme is designed to give children the opportunity to experience university life, learn new science and technology vocabulary and skills, and increase confidence.
It added that with third-level education participation as low as 24pc in areas such as Tallaght, this course will aim to make sure 100pc of communities can get the opportunity to progress their future careers.
The news follows the graduation of the first cohort of 24 summer-camp attendees at a ceremony organised by An Cosán on Friday, 7 July.
Igniting an interest in STEM
An Cosán education access officer Wayne Martin said he believes this camp will ignite interest in STEM.
“Students from disadvantaged backgrounds face tough education barriers, especially in STEM. The children attending the camp are talented, passionate and smart – they just need the chance to shine.
“This partnership gives the children opportunities they wouldn’t normally have and helps them to develop a goal for the future. This initiative will break down STEM and third-level barriers, and ensure that they all know university is accessible.”
While this latest summer camp is focused at children, the organisation has also undertaken considerable effort in boosting the numbers of young women in technology and entrepreneurship.
Since launching its Young Women in Technology programme in late 2014, each of the 120 women who took part have become more confident with technology, with 70 having progressed to further education, and four either setting up or growing their own businesses.