Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 21/12/2023. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers
Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced a trebling of the budget for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grants to €4.7m. The announcement, which comes as a result of phenomenal demand, marks a significant stride towards advancing STEM education in schools nationwide.
€4.7 is being provided in funding for STEM projects, which represents an increased allocation from the €1.5m originally announced.
In total 446 primary and 85 post-primary schools across the country are receiving funding amounts of between €1,000 and €10,000. The schools will receive eighty-five percent of the funding in 2023 with the remaining fifteen percent paid following a reporting and evaluation process in 2024.
The successful projects include a focus on coding, robotics, growing plants without soil, modules on AI, interpreting weather patterns, film and animation, student STEM Clubs and Community-Based Science Fairs.
The upsurge in applications for the STEM grants comes in the wake of the very positive eight point increase in science literacy scores by Irish students in the recently published OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022 results. Irish students have moved from twenty-second place to twelfth place in science literacy amongst the 81 countries taking part in the PISA project.
The STEM grant scheme realises a commitment under the STEM Education Implementation Plan to 2026 which was published in March 2023. The Implementation Plan sets out a programme of work in order to continue to achieve and improve the STEM education experience for all learners. The revised Science curriculum for Junior Cycle students was introduced in 2016 and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is currently carrying out a public consultation on new curricula for the Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects for Leaving Certificate.
The Department is front loading the grant scheme this year and it is hoped that a further round of funding can be run in 2024. It means that eligible schools that were not successful this time may receive funding in the future.
View more details of the grants and the list of schools awarded here