BellTime Magazine Spring 2018 BellTime 9-5 - Page 20

What Is Smart Futures? Smart Futures is a collaborative government-industry-education programme that provides second level school students (typically between 12- 18 years of age) in Ireland with information about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It was set up in 2013 and is coordinated and managed by Ireland’s national funding body, Science Foundation Ireland, and is now supported by 200+ organisations from research and industry as well as representative bodies like Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, the Royal Society of Chemistry, ICT Ireland, the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Institute of Physics, the American Chamber of Commerce, IDA Ireland and other stakeholder groups. For students and their parents, choosing third level study options, be it in university or one of Ireland’s National Institutes of Technology, is never easy – there are a vast number of options to explore and many find themselves confused when it comes to STEM related courses. The Smart futures programme’s main aim is to encourage the take up of STEM subjects among second level students and offer them access to free online resources that will allow them to delve deeper into the range of STEM careers available to them and what these careers entail in the areas of Science, Technology and Maths available for all students. 38 A Science Foundation Ireland survey found 51% of college students said their parents influenced their decision making, and that they had advised their child to pursue something they (as a parent) thought would suit their personality. Unfortunately, if a parent holds any stereotypes when it comes to science or maths (it’s too hard or it’s not really for girls) this can influence a student’s decision. Here at Smart Futures we want to break down the barriers and stereotypes that hold many students back from exploring their options in STEM careers. The website provides an online resource for second level school students and their influencers, such as parents, guidance counsellors and subject teachers. It facilitates exploration of STEM role model career experiences and acts as a direction post to supplement college and career information. BellTIME ahead of the higher education course selection deadline to help them find out more and to better navigate this important decision-making process.” As well as the supporting website, Smart Futures works with and supports many partner organisations. These volunteers based groups facilitate school visits and organise programmes for schools nationwide. Contact details for these partners can be found on our website. Smart Futures also has a There are diverse career areas open to presence at many career events students with STEM qualifications – throughout the year and gives the from designing video games or medical students involved an opportunity to devices, to improving food science and meet and listen to some of our sport, and even saving lives through incredible volunteers explain their own cancer research. STEM graduates are in personal experience as well as offer high demand across the globe. Smart student’s advice and tips for Futures provides students and parents studying/working in the STEM field. with valuable insights and practical examples of STEM career paths, Smart Futures STEM careers helping them to make more informed roadshows will be taking place at many subject choices and higher education of the Institutes of Technology during course decisions. SciFest in 2018! SciFest is an all- inclusive, all-island science competition Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of where second-level students showcase Strateg B6V6F2@5DT&V7G2B6W&W2bRF66V6RfVFF&VC66V6Rf'2VB&VvǒFW6PvƖvG2FR&VVfG2b66r5DT6&VW#( 7GVGr6W'6RWfVG2&W6VBFRW&fV7BfVVRf"W &G6w2ffW&rf6WFRf 5DT&VFVB&V6WVFV6W'2B7GVFVG2vF5DT&P7GVFVG2vF&&V6fr62FV27&72FR6VG'BFWfVFV"&ƗGFF氦7&VFfVǒBfFfVǒv6F涖rBƗFW&7FV6w&PrW76VF62f"FRv&6RगB6&R&Bf"&VG2FpvW&RF7F'BFfBWB&R@FW6VB&R֖FgVBFV666W6ǒ72FV"vFVF7FW&VGW2&WB7GVGp"v&r5DTVf'GVFVǒVR7F&VƖWfRf"WRFBFW6R6&VW"F2&RG6ǐBf"fVW2"&Rǒf 7GVFVG2W6VƖrF2'WBFW6PW&6WF2&R6ǒVG'VRvV@V6W&vR&VG2FV6W'2@7GVFVG2ƖRFf6B6'DgWGW&W2Pf6Bwwr6'DgWGW&W2RF&V@#5DT6&VW"7F&W2vF6fFV266W72g&VRFvF&P6&VW"fw&72BV7GVFVG0V&&R&WBFRW6Fr@FfW'6R5DT6&VW"'GVFW2ग&VBVWWRFR6'@gWGW&W2vV'6FRFvWBFRFW7BWw2`5DTWfVG2FvFRf"vW2R7W&RFfr6'BgWGW&W0GvGFW"6'FgWGW&TRBƖPW"f6V&vRf"&Rf3