Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has teamed up with digital skills specialists from Microsoft Dream Space to empower early year educators with the skills to inspire and engage children with technology, coding and robotics in a fun and interactive way. This important Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) education collaboration has been established under the Creative Arts and Future Technology (CRAFT) Maker Space with MIC’s Department of Enterprise & Community Engagement.
The sessions saw students from MIC’s BA in Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) programme engage with experienced Microsoft Dream Space educators over two weeks to celebrate Tech Week 2022. The lessons, co-designed by James O'Reilly, Lecturer on the BA in ECCE programme, Dr Maeve Liston, Director of Enterprise & Community Engagement, Neeve Hyland, Dream Space Learning Specialist and Michael Barrett, Dream Space STEAM Specialist from the Microsoft Dream Space team, aim to ensure that all content and teaching pedagogies explored during the sessions complement the Aistear curriculum.
Dr Maeve Liston states: “This important collaboration involving STEAM education experts from Mary Immaculate College and STEM Specialists from Microsoft was developed in order to foster the values of STEAM education among our future early year educators. We were delighted to work with Microsoft Dream Space that share our vision for the CRAFT Maker Space at MIC in advancing the future development and provision of STEAM education in Ireland.”
Vice President of Microsoft International Operations, James O’Connor said: “We are proud to see the Microsoft Dream Space team working with students at Mary Immaculate College, ensuring they develop the essential digital skills that they can pass onto other students when they become teachers themselves. Since its launch in 2018, over 80,000 students and 3,000 teachers have engaged in the Dream Space programme and we are delighted to see the positive impact it is bringing to schools in Ireland. By working together with Mary Immaculate College, we want to continue to empower students and teachers with the endless possibilities of digital skills and technology.”
According to James O'Reilly, BA in ECCE lecturer: “We would like to thank Neeve and Micheal from the Microsoft Dream Space team for their fascinating and insightful contributions to the module. The content covered in these interactive and engaging sessions will remain with our students well into the future and will inspire them to integrate similarly innovative and relevant technologies into the settings they teach in throughout their careers.”
This collaboration is the latest in a series of events organised by MIC under the Creative Arts and Future Technology (CRAFT) Maker initiative, the aim of which is to increase engagement with STEAM through a variety of outreach activities focusing on building creativity, innovation and STEAM skills for life. These workshops aim to reach a wide range of audiences including families, young people and adults through accessible and inclusive opportunities to engage with STEAM experiences that are fun, engaging and inspire curiosity.