MIC awarded tender to research STEAM education in schools

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Daire Ryan and Alex Fortuna with Scientific Sue at the Tipperary Festival of Science at Monastery Primary School in Tipperary Town. Pic. Brian Arthur

MARY Immaculate College (MIC) has been awarded a tender by the Department of Education to fund research into effectively incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) in early years, primary and post-primary education settings.

The research will identify effective approaches that contribute to all learners having access to high quality STEAM education and will draw on the expertise of leading STEM Education researchers at MIC.

The research will glean insights into barriers and challenges, enablers, and opportunities, alongside the role played by additional contributing factors such as context (formal and informal), key players (including parents, schools and communities), and policy development.

It will also provide a crucial evidence base to inform policy development and the direction of STEAM Education in Ireland.

Head of the Department of STEM Education at MIC, Dr Aisling Leavy, said: “A key priority in education internationally is to increase knowledge and competence in STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, thereby fostering creativity, disciplinary knowledge and innovation.

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“Faculty at the Department of STEM Education have a considerable track record in research and innovation in STEM education. This tender provides us with the opportunity to investigate authentic and meaningful collaborations across the Arts and STEM education through identification and analysis of international best practices in STEAM education.”

The research team consists of: Claire Carroll, Dr Ed Corry, Michelle Fitzpatrick, Dr Miriam Hamilton, Dr Mairéad Hourigan, Dr Aisling Leavy, Rory McGann, Dr Anne O’Dwyer from the Department of STEM Education and Gary LaCumber at MIC Library.

The research group are supported by an advisory team of experts in Arts Education and research efficacy and measurement, including Anne Marie Morrin, Dr Gwen Moore (both from MIC), Dr Sercan Sahin (TUS) and Dr Finbarr Sloane (National Science Foundation, USA).