I am the coordinator and head designer of the groundbreaking educational initiative Fiosracht.
Empowering young people through STEM
Since the beginning of 2017 I have worked alongside the STEM education initiative ‘Fiosracht’, which is made up of the Institute of Technology Tallaght, South County Dublin Libraries and Foroige. My role was a the lead co-ordinator of the program as well as a designer and facilitator for activities run by Fiosracht.
“Fiosracht is an educational initiative, funded by the Science Foundation of Ireland's Discover programme, which aims to promote public engagement with STEM. Fiosracht is based in Tallaght, with a focus on serving the wider South County Dublin region. One of our primary objectives, is to empower the ‘harder to reach children’, with camps and workshops focusing on engagement with STEM subjects. We provide activities, support and access to possibilities in this area… the approach we take helps engage young people with STEM by guiding them through a design process, which is hands on, puts them in the driver seat and focuses on building their confidence, along with soft skills such as teamwork, collaboration and communication.”
Fiosrachts’ goal has been to provide kids with the facilities to be consciously empowered, focusing on their own perspectives. We have done that in a myriad of ways. We have run camps designing for the year 2050, including cars powered by poo and artificial intelligence that creates a house with empathy, research trips to Transdev where the Fiosracht kids tackled issues of anti-social behaviour, talking at TEDx about our unique approach to engaging with kids and education, partnering and collaborating with big companies like Transdev, IKEA, Cadburys and Chopped, to show how STEM subjects are part of everyday life.
The previous Mayor of Tallaght, Guss O’Connell, had this to say after coming to one of our camp showcases,:
"What I especially like about Fiosracht is that it has no boundaries. The futuristic world imagined and produced in model form by the young people is just fantastic. The adult mentors were there to assist and support but definitely not to judge or build boundaries or barriers. And it worked."
We have applied for our second round of funding to expand our program, which will start at the beginning of 2019. I have been lucky enough to include Also Studio as a Partner in the further growth of the initiative.