The future is bright for students in an East Cork school who have completed a five week science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) programme delivered by volunteers from semi-state utility company Ervia.

A total of 57 students from Scartleigh National in Saleen were awarded certificates from Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) after completing the five-week Energize programme. This is part of an initiative by Ervia to deliver the programme to sixth class students in Whitegate, Aghada, Saleen and Midleton during the 2018/19 school year.

Energize is sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland and complements the science curriculum through practical and engaging classroom-based lessons. Its aim is to encourage more young people to engage with STEM subjects in a fun, positive environment.

Catherine Sheridan, Chartered Engineer with Ervia, explained why Gas Networks Ireland is supporting the Energize programme: “As professionals working in the vibrant STEM sector, we are delighted to have the opportunity to share our stories and knowledge with young people in our local communities. These students are the graduates of 2025 and Ireland’s future will increasingly depend on scientists, engineers and innovators. Having spent time with these children in October and November, I’m convinced the future is in good hands.”

Scartleigh National School teacher, Aoife Keegan commented on the impact of the Energize programme for students: “The energy and enthusiasm of the Ervia volunteers in delivering this STEM programme meant their visits were a highlight of our week.  Having a business volunteer deliver STEM activities really supports our science curriculum and brings it to life for our students.”

Labour market data shows that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sector despite major growth and employment opportunities.  The STEM sector is one of the fastest growing business sectors in Ireland but there is a skills shortage, there simply aren’t enough people studying science. The Energise programme is designed to cultivate an interest in science so that students continue with the subject to second level education.

Energize is being delivered by business volunteers to sixth class primary school students across the country and comprises five modules spanning the fundamentals of science while highlighting its value to young people in their everyday lives. Promoting STEM to primary school students in a fun and interactive way is crucial in promoting a positive attitude to science.  If you would like to register your interest in having Energize delivered in your school, please contact Junior Achievement Ireland at


Note to Editors:

Junior Achievement Ireland

Junior Achievement (JA) programmes facilitated by business volunteers encourage young people to remain in education and help them develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world. Working with schools and business partners, JA programmes promote work readiness, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and the value of studying STEM. 

Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) utilises the experience of those already in the workforce to help children of all ages to fully understand the important role that education will play in shaping their futures.  JA business volunteers are recruited, trained, vetted, equipped and supported to deliver hands-on learning experiences that empower students to make connections between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world.

JAI is part of a worldwide organisation reaching out to over 10 million young people each year. It was established in Ireland in 1996 and since then has built up a strong demand from schools throughout the country and created successful partnerships with over 160 leading organisations.