Intel supports DCU STEM Teacher internships

3 DCU STEM teacher education students join Intel as interns

Earlier this year Dublin City University launched its 2019 STEM Teacher Internship programme which provides DCU STEM teacher education students with the unique opportunity to avail of an internship experience in the STEM industry.

The programme, which is strongly supported by the Connecting Women in Technology Group (CWIT) of which Intel is a member, is now in its fourth year and this summer has 19 different companies hosting 32 students for a 12 week paid internship.

3 of the teacher education students are completing their internships at the Intel campus in Leixlip, Co. Kildare – Karen Marry, a Masters in Primary Teaching student from Navan, Co. Meath; Michael Simmons, a Primary Education student from Leixlip, Co. Kildare; and Meabh Donohoe, a Science Education student from Ardattin, Co. Carlow.

Meabh is spending her internship with the MPE department whist Michael and Karen are working in the Movidius team.

We recently caught up with them to find out more about their experience so far;

 

Why did you choose to study in this field?:
Karen:

 

My undergrad is actually in Business but after some volunteering in a school, I knew teaching was for me. I want to do my dissertation on the influence of STEM on children.
 

Meabh:

 

I always knew I wanted to go into the science area and I liked the idea of teaching.
Michael: I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives through creating a happy school environment.

 

What’s your favourite thing about working at Intel?
Karen:

 

 

The people. It’s great to meet so many people who have an interest in STEM education. It’s amazing how many avenues you can go down with it. Now I know for sure, it’s what I want to do my dissertation on.

 

Meabh:

 

 

I really like the responsibility that I am given. My mentors trust me to get the work done but are also there to help me when I need it. It’s a team-based environment and a great atmosphere to work in.

 

Michael: Intel Leixlip has amazing services for employees, from gyms to dentists, even a barbers! It’s like a town in itself.

 

What  kinds of things do you do on a daily basis at Intel?
Karen:

 

 

 

Michael and I are working on a Micro Bit project. It’s a mini computer designed for children, to introduce Python (a form of coding) to them. The children learn the basics of coding through Scratch which is a beginner computer language programme. It’s a fun way to introduce coding to children.

 

Meabh:

 

 

 

 

In the MPE Department, I am starting a remote control car project. At the moment I am ordering the parts for it and learning to code. I have two buddies who mentor me and help me out with the electronics. My end goal is to be able to bring this project to my TY students and mentor them while they build the car.

 

Michael:

 

 

As Karen said, we are working on the Micro Bit project. As we get more familiar with this project, we are given the responsibility to order in more parts for the project. Our next plan is to order in a robot to connect the computer to. This is something I really want to bring back to Primary school.

 

 

What has been a major learning curve for you during your internship?
Karen:

 

 

 

Before coming to Intel, I had no experience in coding. I felt apprehensive about learning it. After working on the Micro Bit programme, I realise once you start to learn the basics, you can just progress from there and move onto Python and continue. It’s not as daunting as I thought it would be!

 

 

Meabh:

 

 

 

 

 

A big thing I have learned is how to effectively plan. For example in my department, we break down what we want to do every two weeks. On a Friday we will plan out exactly what we want to do for the next 2 weeks to reach our end goals. I personally get to decide how much work I am capable of and split this work into tasks I will complete on a daily basis. This effective planning will be of huge use to me when I am teaching leaving cert students, to ensure they get the curriculum covered for their exams.
Michael:

 

I think I had a misconception about big companies. I thought it would be people on their own, at their desks all day but here it is very team-based. There is an emphasis on collaboration and working together to achieve a team goal which I really enjoy.

 

This flagship internship programme is supported by an education-industry collaboration that is strongly committed to supporting innovative and creative approaches to STEM education in Ireland and to date over €500,000 in funding has been spent on the programme. This year will see 21 different companies host 35 students for a 12 week paid internship.

Click here to find out more about the STEM Teacher Internship programme.

 

 

Additional information about Intel is available at:

Web – intel.ie |  Twitter – @Intel_IRL  |  Facebook – Intel Ireland

Media contact: Sarah Sexton |  sarah.sexton@intel.com  | + 353 1 606 8537

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