The Royal Irish Academy (RIA)-ALLEA Joint Efforts in Science Education Forum took place on 20 November, 2013. The forum brought together industry and education partners to discuss existing and identify future potential collaborative efforts to enhance maths, science and technology education and student experiences in Ireland, with reference to existing and emerging European initiatives in this space.
Excellent and world class science will play an instrumental role in the creation of jobs, identification of future technologies and opportunities and wider societal well-being. To this end, Europe – and Ireland – requires a highly skilled workforce in maths, science and technology fields and a high level of general scientific competence across society. The Forum explored the shared mission of teachers, educators and industry in achieving these wider goals, recognising that no one sector can address these issues by themselves.
All participants were invited to outline their perspective on the current opportunities and challenges facing science education and how industry and education can work together to support a stronger science education experience.
The event was preceded by the launch of the Irish Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Review Group in Academy House. The Academy is currently in the process of drafting a submission to the STEM advisory group based on issues that were identified at the Academy-ALLEA forum on Science Education.
Leading this initiative are Professor Peter Mitchell, MRIA, ALLEA working group on Science Education and Professor Eugene Kennedy, MRIA, Science Secretary.
The open session on Academia-Industry Alliances also relates to previous activities of the ALLEA Working Group Science Education and follows up on a comprehensive report written upon request of the European Commission and entitled “A renewal of science education in Europe – views and actions of national academies”. In the report, the Working Group details the views and actions taken by European Academies to advance the renewal of science education and maintain the passion for science and technology among the youth. Building alliances with the business world is seen as an important step towards these objectives.
The Royal Irish Academy (Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann) was founded in 1785 and is Ireland’s academy for the sciences, humanities and social sciences. The Academy provides expert advice, manages research projects, publishes books and journals and sustains a library. Election to membership of the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and the Academy has currently approximately 460 members.