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Empower Programme to Inspire the Next Generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs in the Mid West


19 October 2020

Following on from the very successful ‘EMPOWER’ programmes run each year since 2017, Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Mary Immaculate College (MIC) are delighted to announce that the ‘EMPOWER’ 2020 programme in entrepreneurial, critical thinking, creativity, design and innovation, is open once again to second-level students (Transition Year, 5th & 6th year) in the region. 

A collaboration between LIT and MIC and funded by the HEA (Higher Education Authority), the four- day ‘EMPOWER’ initiative will run online this year from the October 27 – 30.

The delivery and content of the camps are designed to answer the vision and goals set out in “Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025” and the “Action Plan for Education 2020” in preparing students in developing 21st century transferrable skills. The programme aims to promote innovation, communication, personal effectiveness, critical and creative thinking, and working with others, which are prioritised in the Framework for Junior and Senior Cycle Education through a variety of inquiry-based, student-centred, teaching and learning pedagogies. This programme will focus on observations and opening up the students’ eyes to the world around them; helping to listen with empathy; and develop social awareness and problem-solving skills. 

Gillian Barry, Head of Innovation & Enterprise at LIT said, “This innovative programme focuses on the most pressing challenges that we are facing right now. It empowers students by enhancing their innovation skills and helping them to develop creativity, design, problem solving and critical thinking skills. There will also be a focus on developing effective teamwork, leadership, design thinking and communication skills and providing the students with the opportunity to meet and network with a variety of inspirational leaders and innovators, all safely online, across the four days.”

“This is a unique programme in its design and delivery. We have combined expertise in creative and innovative pedagogies from the field of entrepreneurial and STEAM education with experts from innovation and enterprise and youth development, community development in designing and delivering a high-quality educational experience for the participants.”

Patricia O'SullivanPatricia O’Sullivan, Enterprise and Community Engagement Manager at Mary Immaculate College explained, “21st century skills require young people to have questioning and inquiring minds with
effective problem solving, entrepreneurial and scientific thinking, creativity and communications skills.  We need our future population to be able to apply skills within and across disciplines and in real life situations i.e. knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with STEAM and entrepreneurial thinking. Therefore, it is of critical importance that both formal and informal educational experience at all levels are innovative, relevant and prepare students with real world skills that are transferrable to the workplace.”