The Digital Hub and Teen-Turn partner to address gender skill gap in Dublin 8
- Teen-Turn Plus aims to expand educational and career opportunities available to girls in Dublin 8
- Weekly classes in advanced topics such as: AI, physics and object-oriented Programming
- Less than 5% of girls in secondary schools nationwide study engineering, building construction, design graphics and technology
The Digital Hub and Teen-Turn, the national charity dedicated to providing teen girls the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM experience and the support to acquire qualifications and jobs, have launched Teen Turn+ in an effort to address the digital divide in advanced scientific and technology skills within second level education.
Teen-Turn Plus is a new pilot project, taking place each week from February to May and August to November at The Digital Hub, which will provide hands on exposure to advanced scientific and technology topics in AI, physics and object-oriented programming. The initiative is open to Teen-Turn participants attending secondary school in Dublin 8 or whose home residence is nearby.
Data from the Department of Education from the 2020/21 academic year found that only 20% of girls’ secondary schools offer computer science, while research from the State Examinations Commission showed that 14% provided physics in Ireland in 2019. The Higher Education Authority found that 86% of male students study practical subjects during senior cycle including engineering, building construction, design graphics and technology. Less than 5% of girls in secondary schools nationwide study these subjects at all.
Teen-Turn Plus aims to expand educational and career opportunities available to girls by introducing future-of-work learning that advances their competencies and develops confidence in their command of subjects which typically have a higher male representation.
Girls may enter science and technology courses with the same points as their male peers, but many, particularly those from underserved areas, are already behind due to little experience in engineering, physics and object-oriented programming languages.
A primary aim of Teen-Turn Plus is to level the playing field in science and technology education in Ireland, with an initial focus on Dublin 8. Equality of knowledge when it comes to STEM subjects is a key factor in combatting dropout rates in the third level and delivering a more balanced and diverse workforce for the future.
Joanne Dolan, Teen-Turn co-founder, said:
“Levelling the playing field in the transition from second to third level education has never been more important as careers in STEM continue to see the highest demand from graduates. Teen Turn Plus is aiming to expand the horizons of girls in second level education and increase equal participation in STEM subjects.”
Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of The Digital Hub, said:
“Equality, diversity and inclusion is an important part of our operations here at The Digital Hub, and it has been a pleasure to work with Teen-Turn over the years in ensuring that EDI in education is delivered to schools in our area. Teen-Turn Plus has great potential in levelling the playing field in STEM education and I look forward to seeing this pilot develop.”
Teen-Turn Plus will run, with Friday and Saturday classes with a focus on AI, app development and thermodynamics, until the end of November 2022.
For more information:
Andrew Smith | Murray | firstname.lastname@example.org | 083 076 5717
About The Digital Hub
Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies. Thirty established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ approximately 290 people.
The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Bizimply, Neuromod, Good Travel Software and Akara Robotics to scale and grow. Major global companies like Lonely Planet are also based in The Digital Hub.
Since the project’s inception, over 400 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (Daft.ie), eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Kavaleer, Lincor, MTT, patientMpower, Slack, Software AG, Silicon Republic, Square1, Stripe, TIBCO, VSware and Wachsman.
The Digital Hub is a supportive partner of the local community, by running several learning initiatives for people of all ages. Community learning programmes are run with local partners. For example, the Future Creators Cadets is delivered by H2 Learning and supported by National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and The Liber8 Music Project is run with BIMM Institute Dublin. The Digital Hub also works with community groups and organisations such as the Robert Emmet Community Development Project and Pocket Forests amongst others. The Digital Hub is one of three lead partners on the Smart D8 initiative which aims to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of Dublin 8 citizens through innovation and collaboration.
The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.
In March 2021, the Government decided to dissolve the Digital Hub Development Agency and close The Digital Hub. The Agency will now embark upon an orderly winddown process which will see the transfer of lands to the Land Development Agency. All operations at The Digital Hub, including various community initiatives and partnerships, will continue as normal up until the closure date.
The Digital Hub is in a position to offer leases for new and existing companies up until 2025 following an agreement with the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.
About Teen Turn
Teen-Turn provides teen girls the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM experience and the support to acquire qualifications and jobs.
Teen-Turn does this through mentored free after school activities, 2 week summer work placements in STEM environments, exam support and alumnae professional development programming so that participants, particularly those from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, can visualize themselves in careers and therefore make informed third level course choices as well as build the necessary social capital to enter into the ‘future jobs’ workforce.
- Teen-Turn prioritizes working with DEIS and similar schools to identify and include participants with academic promise, starting with us from the ages 14-15,who will benefit from the opportunity but are from traditionally underrepresented communities or from underserved areas or from where third level education is uncommon.
- Teen-Turn makes certain that all activities and work placements are compliant with the requirements of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, Garda Vetting and Children First Legislation. Teen-Turn is insured.
- Teen-Turn provides an induction for participants prior to work placements to assess skills, explain rules and behaviour expectations, and advise on what training/direction a company is likely to provide.
- Teen-Turn shares employment act compliance, induction, and impact metrics materials with hosting companies.
- Hosting companies match each participant, ideally, with a female mentor, who is employed with the company, and the work includes participating in and/or observing a STEM project either on site or through after school sessions followed by contributions to alumnae activities.
- Participant travel and lunch costs are covered, so that no participant is paying out of pocket for the experience.
We stay with participants from “Junior Cert to job”, committing to see them through from early interests in STEM activities and subjects to in-demand skill acquisition to third level completion to meaningful employment.