Some 4,000 students attended this year's STEM South West Industry and Career Expo, held as a virtual event due to Covid-19.
Students considering a career in any areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) were invited to attend the free expo held last night.
The event saw scores of Cork and Kerry’s largest employers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths participate.
The virtual stands offered novel and engaging experiences for attendees, with one-to-one meetings, technology demonstrations and a broad range of career considerations and opportunities.
Guest speakers included aspiring CapCom from Cork, 6-year-old Adam King, Laurence O’Rourke of the European Space Agency and mechanical engineer and international hockey player, Nicci Daly.
An absolute pleasure to be involved in @STEMSouthWest_ - thanks so much to @Dr_Niamh_Shaw for talking to Adam and his siblings and for inspiring them! We hope you get to space Niamh and send us a virtual hug back!#STEMSW2021 👨🚀👩🚀🚀#adamsvirtualhug 💟📨📬💟 https://t.co/SmPp8kCMNm— Adam King - Adventures With a Difference (@AdventuresWAD) January 13, 2021
Marguerite O’Sullivan, Chair of STEM South West said the event was a great success.
"From beginning to end the desire from students to learn, to get involved and to seek out how STEM might play a part in their careers and their futures was palpable," she said.
At the end of the evening, students were asked if they would be more likely to consider a career in STEM following what they had experienced and witnessed and a landslide 89% said they would.
"The success of this event is a testament to the passion and contribution of all those involved – from the organisers to the exhibitors, to the attendees on the day.
"The exhibitors faced new challenges in creating virtual stands, and reimagining how they would showcase their work. The teachers and guidance counsellors had a huge role to play with just over 50% of students having been encouraged to attend by their school.
"Every one of these people, organisations and companies are playing a very important part in the economic development of not just the South-West region, but the country overall, and helping to secure Ireland’s attractiveness and competitiveness as an IT and STEM sector hub into the future," Ms O'Sullivan concluded.