Out-of-the-box STEAM thinking inspires Stripe to sponsor Dublin school

20 Jun 2017

Students and teachers from St Vincent’s in Dublin with their Maths in a Box certificates. Image: STEAM Education

E-commerce powerhouse is steaming ahead with support for Dublin school.

Stripe has emerged as a new supporter for STEAM Education’s latest Maths in a Box class at St Vincent’s Girls’ National School (GNS) in Dublin.

St Vincent’s GNS is situated in the north inner city on North William Street, between the North Strand and Ballybough.

Over the course of 10 weeks, sixth-class students enjoyed one hour per week of fun and engaging maths education delivered by a Stripe employee.

STEAM Education is a not-for-profit social enterprise based at University College Cork (UCC).

The organisation provides science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) workshops that are built based on feedback from students, teachers, academics and other experts.

The group recently incorporated Sense About Maths, led by Gráinne Bagnall, the creator of a Maths in a Box programme that invites local industry players to deliver fun 10-week maths programmes.

Other programmes include Science in a Box, Engineering in a Box, and much more.

Tech firms embrace their social responsibility

Out of the box STEAM thinking inspires Stripe to sponsor Dublin school

St Vincent’s GNS students at the Stripe offices in Dublin. Image: STEAM Education

To date, around 2,000 kids have taken part in the programmes in schools in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Cork and Galway.

Lessons are delivered during school time to fourth, fifth and sixth class, and firms that sponsor the programmes have the option of sending a company employee or a postgrad to deliver the classes.

“For example, in Kildalkey, Co Meath, we raised support from parents who worked at IBM and Intel as well as local sponsors Harmon Oil.

“The idea is to bring maths, science and engineering to life in the classroom in a cool and engaging way. Companies see the logic in this as it fosters a better understanding of their industries and helps them to do something charitable in the community from a CSR standpoint,” Bagnall explained.

Partners devising the programmes include UCC, Trinity College Dublin, the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy.

Industry sponsors include BAM, Eli Lilly, Stryker, Trend Micro, GE Healthcare and Alexion, to name a few.

“Stripe came on board because they believe that somebody has to break down the walls that prevent kids from seeing how vital and fun maths can be.

“They are young, they are growing and they want to recruit into the future. The time to sew the seeds is now.

“It is also important for teachers to know about these companies and make that connection between maths and future, rewarding careers for these kids down the road,” said Bagnall.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years