With a Rethinking of the Arts/Science Distinction, Trinity has the Opportunity to be Pioneering

Posted in Teaching on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“With some exceptions, Trinity’s degree structure is divided on clear lines. Much like the campus itself, with its hubs of the Arts Block and Hamilton Building, most students take a course that’s neatly labelled under ‘Arts’ or ‘STEM’, with courses that bridge the divide often finding themselves lost in a confusing and bureaucratic maze …” (more)

[University Times, 25 June]

Tags: , , , ,

Why we need to get rid of STEM

Posted in Research, Teaching on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“On the surface, ‘STEM’ is a harmless acronym, a handy and catchy way of promoting disciplines that, let’s face it, are pretty important in this technological age. But, to an engineer like me who has worked in a science faculty for my whole career, the idea of lumping science and engineering together, along with maths and ‘technology’, seems a bit … simplistic …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 June]

Tags: , ,

Careers in science and technology

Posted in Teaching on June 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I have to say that the recent blitz of ‘Stem’ (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) articles in your newspaper (June 20th) gave me pause for thought. Amidst all the hype about successful scientists and high-tech companies, I found myself returning to one of the Higher Education Authority’s reports on what graduates actually do when they leave college …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 21 June]

Tags: , ,

Stem courses key to Ireland making gains post-Brexit

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The British general election result has done little to assuage Irish fears for industry here post-Brexit but with a booming Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sector, Ireland is well placed to make gains. According to leading economist Prof Alan Ahearne of the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, the Brexit ‘divorce’ negotiations will likely last for at least two years, with trade deals possibly taking considerably longer to complete …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 20 June]

Tags: , ,

Placing gender equity in Stem on the radar

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The skills shortage in science, technology, engineering and maths is deepening. There are plenty of jobs in the industry, but there are not enough people to fill the roles. The problem is, to a significant extent, caused by the failure of Stem to attract women. Fewer than 25% of people working in Stem are female …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 20 June]

Tags: , ,

Figuring out the challenges of being a scientist and a mum

Posted in Life on April 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to give a talk at an event about the challenges of being a woman working in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem). However, not only am I a woman working in Stem, I’m also a parent working in Stem, and this event started at 6pm, clashing with a meeting at my child’s school …” (more)

[Jane Stout, Irish Times, 24 April]

Tags: , ,

More compulsory math lessons do not encourage women to pursue STEM careers

Posted in Teaching on March 28th, 2017 by steve

“The demand for employees in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math) is particularly high, as corporations compete to attract skilled professionals in the international market. What is known as ‘curriculum intensification’ is often used around the world to attract more university entrants – and particularly more women – to these subjects; that is to say, students have on average more mandatory math courses at a higher level …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 28 March]

Tags: , , ,

The skills shortage paradox

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This is the era of STEM. Youngsters are constantly exhorted to forge careers in STEM because, apparently, STEM is where the jobs are. This is the 21st century after all. The STEM campaign has been broadly ‘successful’ and the number of CAO first preferences for STEM subjects has risen from around 18.7% in 2008 to 23.7% …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 March]

Tags: , ,

The problem with Stem

Posted in Teaching on February 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Anyone who reads this blog regularly probably knows that I have a bit of a problem with the term ‘Stem’. ‘Stem’ covers everything from botany to theoretical physics to mechanical engineering. ‘Stem’ is more than a harmless acronym; it represents an attempt at a unification of the various science and technology disciplines to create a sort of super-discipline …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 February]

Tags: ,

To get more women in STEM little girls need better role models

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2017 by steve

“I recently went to my great-niece Sophie’s fourth birthday party, where her friends – both boys and girls – ran around without a hint of prejudice or discrimination. They were equals. It occurred to me how this idyll of equality disappears as boys and girls grow into adulthood …” (more)

[Hilary Lappin-Scott, The Conversation, 3 February]

Tags: ,

Are parents to blame for the lack of women in Stem?

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Blame the parents. They may want the best for their children, but many end up directing them away from certain areas of study based on outdated notions of ‘acceptable’ careers. A major Government-commissioned report into the shortage of female graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) found that parents are heavily influencing their daughters’ career choices in particular …” (more)

[Nora-Ide McAuliffe, Irish Times, 31 January]

Tags: , , ,

Performance in key subjects is not adding up

Posted in Teaching on November 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Science, technology, engineering and maths are critically important areas for modern society. Expertise in these so-called Stem subjects is vital to supporting future economic growth. The quality of our education in these subjects, then, needs to be of the highest quality …” (more)

[Irish Times, 29 November]

Tags: , ,

Comments on the STEM report

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“As far as I can make out, the STEM report arose out of a belief that: Students entering college lack basic STEM skills, especially in mathematics (True); Even college students lack ‘higher order’ skills like problem solving, analytical thinking etc. (Only partly true) …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 24 November]

Tags: ,

Major concerns emerge over students’ basic maths skills

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Serious concerns over the basic skills of students in maths have emerged in a major review of so-called Stem subjects taught in Irish schools. The quality of graduates in so-called Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – is considered crucial to the country’s economic future …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 November]

Tags: ,

Targeted approach to science as career

Posted in Governance and administration on November 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to Michael Duffy’s article ‘Stem education critical for country’s future’ (November 15th), the very use of the term Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths), although commonplace, is actually not very informative and may in fact be confusing for school-leavers …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 21 November]

Tags: , ,

Stem education critical for country’s future

Posted in Teaching on November 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The importance of a knowledge economy to Ireland’s future is hard to measure, but it should not be underestimated. While we may not know with any certainty what the new jobs in 20 or 30 years will be, our education system has to prepare for them now. The subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) are rightly seen as critical to meet this challenge …” (more)

[Michael Duffy, Irish Times, 15 November]

Tags: , ,

STEM, science and engineering

Posted in Teaching on November 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of year when we’re all in marketing mode. Open Days are taking place, it’s Science Week, and for many it’s a case of STEM, STEM, STEM. As a lifelong science nerd who, during the deep recession of early 1980s Ireland, chose to study chemical engineering (the most molecular of the engineering disciplines) I’m always interested in the relationship between these two disciplines and especially in how we promote them to school-leavers …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 14 November]

Tags: , ,

Stem graduates ‘are qualified for just about any job’

Posted in Governance and administration on August 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“While there is certainly a growing need for graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects from a range of growth sectors across the economy, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) director general Prof Mark Ferguson believes there are compelling reasons beyond direct job opportunities for students to consider courses in this area …” (more)

[Barry McCall, Irish Times, 25 August]

Tags: , , ,

CAO cynicism

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of the year when the Central Applications Office (CAO) makes offers of third level places to Ireland’s school-leavers. Places are allocated on the basis of a complex but transparent system of supply (of courses by third level institutions), demand (for courses by school leavers), and grades (obtained by school leavers in the second level terminal examination, the Leaving Certificate) …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 22 August]

Tags: , , , ,

Stem steams ahead as students abandon the arts ship

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students have been bombarded with calls to study science, technology, engineering and maths (known collectively as Stem) over the past few years. The message seems to be working, as points for those courses have risen across the board for the first round of CAO offers …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 22 August]

Tags: , , , ,