Initiative to give teenage inventors a head start comes to Galway

Galway Science and Technology Forum, in partnership with NUI Galway, has invited TeenTech to Galway. TeenTech is an industry-led initiative that helps students understand how STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ) subjects are the pathway to tomorrow’s careers, and to give teenage inventors and innovators a head start.

The award winning event will bring 300 teenagers from 30 secondary schools across Galway city and county together with some 140 scientists, engineers, and technologists for a day of interesting challenges and experiments. Students and teachers will meet teams from leading science and technology companies and find out about the career opportunities and the skills required to pursue a career in these areas.

TeenTech events runs in 12 regions of England and Wales but this is the first time the event will run in the Republic of Ireland. The aim is to challenge outdated preconceptions which students hold about what it might be like to be a scientist or an engineer.

The event is already booked out by the schools and there are a few remaining places for companies which may wish to join Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Hewlett Packard, Maplin, Avaya, Abbott, SAP, Google, Creganna, IBM, JVC Kenwood, Chanelle Group, Fidelity Investments, Aerogen, and educational bodies NUI Galway, GMIT, Marine Institute, and SFI/Smart Futures in running lively stands and activities to showcase their work. Students will also be invited to turn ideas generated on the day into projects.

According to E-skills for Jobs in Europe, the EU could face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020.

Tom Hyland, chairman of the Galway Science and Technology Forum, in welcoming TeenTech to Galway, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for second level students, our innovators of the future, and their teachers to participate in something new and hopefully very interesting.”

TeenTech is the co-brainchild of technology broadcaster Maggie Philbin – known for programmes Bang Goes the Theory and Tomorrow’s World – and aims to nurture teenage innovation through the award scheme and supporting events in schools all across the country. Philbin was one of the first people to test many of the technologies taken for granted today, including the world’s first truly mobile phone, the first car navigation system, and the first supermarket barcode reader.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer young people this inspiring opportunity,” Ms Philbin said. “My family are originally from the west of Ireland so being able to partner with the Galway Science and Technology Forum and their team means a huge amount to me personally. Young people have so much potential but it’s a fast changing world and we want them to be able to understand what contemporary industry really needs, and also to consider areas where in the future they might set up their own companies. one.

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