Regeneron’s Ed Keogh, Aidan Nevills and Mike Lynch give the Learning Hub revamp a finishing touch before the start of the new year
AS students prepare to go back to school this week, and others begin university, one Limerick firm is highlighting the benefits of studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Biopharmaceutical company Regeneron, based in Raheen, has teamed up with the Learning Hub in Thomondgate in the hope of encouraging youngsters to study these four subjects, collectively known by the acronym Stem.
Together, the two groups will work with primary school children between fourth and sixth class, as well as their parents and teachers to deliver engaging and exciting experiences of Stem subjects.
Codenamed The Science Hub, the project will cover a range of topics, including science magic shows, school projects, after school projects and public engagement projects.
This year’s Leaving Certificate results showed a marginal increase of 5% in the numbers studying Stem subjects at higher level when compared to 2016, with over one third of students sitting the higher-level Maths paper.
However, Regeneron said Stem participation needs to increase even further to meet future demand nationally. A proven way to encourage more participation is by ensuring students are exposed to Stem learning at a younger age.
Fred Austin, vice-president of quality control in Regeneron said: “We recognise the positive benefits of engaging with young people to encourage interest and a passion from an early age. The science hub allows primary school children to learn about science in a fun and engaging way that encourages imagination, intrigue and interest. Creating this curious mindset in young people is key to opening up a whole world of future opportunities.”
As well as sponsoring the Science Hub, Regeneron’s facilities team spent time over the summer giving the entire Learning Hub building and its grounds a complete revamp.
Gillian Barry, chair of the Learning Hub and also the head of the Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre in LIT, said: “Environment helps to shape behaviour, to uplift, motivate, engage and inspire. Thanks to Regeneron the Learning Hub is once again an inspiring yellow beacon of light right in the heart of the community standing tall, proud and ready to take on any challenge! The Hub team, children and all members of the community who use the Learning Hub are very grateful for the hard work that went into restoring it back to its natural glory.”