Almost one-third of teachers that took part in a recent survey have claimed that they do not know enough about science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) courses and careers. The I Wish research also showed that 94 per cent of teachers surveyed recognise the opportunities in the STEM sector and that 74 per cent of those teachers said that they would benefit from more support through training and access to STEM role models and industry engagement.
The survey also highlighted the huge role that teachers play in influencing students’ subject choices. The findings showed that the top three influences in Leaving Certificate subject choices were directly related to teachers, with the influence of parental recommendation standing at 15 per cent, and friends only at 4 per cent.
In order to address the problems highlighted within the survey, I Wish has launched a new “Teach It” programme.
Speaking at the launch of the I Wish “Teach It” programme, I Wish co-founder Caroline O’Driscoll said: “Over the last five years, the I Wish showcase events have been hugely successful in communicating directly with female students in Irish schools about the power of STEM choices, courses and careers. We will have directly engaged with over 12,000 secondary school pupils in Ireland by the end of January 2018, and we are seeing first-hand the positive impact on young girls’ perceptions and understanding of STEM opportunities.”