Schools can engage with lots of STEM activities across the country, both during and outside of school hours. Here are some fun programmes to get involved with:

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a contest in which secondary school students develop their own strategies for solving problems in fascinating languages from around the globe.

Students must use their ingenuity to solve Puzzles such as deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, decoding numerical spy codes, and interpreting ancient Mayan poetry.


Apps4Gaps is an international competition aimed at encouraging young people to provide concepts and create applications utilising Open Data freely available.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is much more than a competition; it is an unforgettable experience of a lifetime for the students who take part. The Exhibition itself is the final stage in the competition, which is open to all second level students from Ireland, both north and south. As well as the student projects on display, there are a further four exhibition halls filled with science and technology-based exhibits and entertainment, making it a thrilling event for those who entered and for general visitors too.


Bridge21 is an education programme based in Trinity College Dublin. They offer a new model of learning, that can be adapted for use in Irish secondary schools.

Designed to support an innovative 21st Century learning environment within schools, they have developed a learning model for second level education that is:

  • Team-based
  • Technology mediated
  • Project based
  • Cross- curricular


Career Mathways collaborates with well-known, high-profile Irish personalities and professionals by inviting them to become STEM Ambassadors, to make STEM, and mathematics in particular, more visible and fascinating to students as mathematics underpins all STEM subjects.


The CoderDojo movement believes that an understanding of programming languages is increasingly important in the modern world, that it’s both better and easier to learn these skills early, and that nobody should be denied the opportunity to do so. CoderDojo built a global network of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.

CodePlus is an innovative education project, supported by the Bridge21 education progamme, based in Trinity College Dublin that provides coding workshops, teacher support and research to address the challenge of female under-representation in Computer Science and IT-related courses at 3rd level and consequently in follow-on careers.

Digital Futures is a free programme offered by Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) for secondary school students, who have not yet chosen their Leaving Cert subjects. Developed by one of the founding members, Dell, and delivered by all the CWIT member companies, it is an hour long interactive session delivered by volunteer presenters at the schools. The programme hopefully inspires students to explore a career in the technology industry.

Connecting Women in Technology (CWIT) is a voluntary network of leading companies in the technology sector in Ireland with a common shared goal to attract, retain and promote women in technology careers. We host and participate in a range of networking events and collaborate with a number of partners including BTYSTE, Teen Turn and DCU to deliver impactful programmes. For further information please visit www.cwit.ie.

Through immersive teaching and learning experiences, DreamSpace at Microsoft Ireland offers free wokshops designed to inspire students and teachers to see how technology can enhance education in exciting new ways, helping them to realise the full potential of what they can achieve.


The Engineers Ireland STEPS programme, funded by the SFI Discover Programme is a not-for-profit strategic outreach programme that promotes interest and awareness in engineering as a future career to school students through a portfolio of projects.

Launch your class into ESB Science Blast and open their world to the incredible possibilities of STEM. An amazing way for entire primary school classes (3rd-6th) to harness their natural curiosity and investigate the science behind the world around them. All you need is a question! Showcase events take place in Dublin, Limerick and Belfast where classes display their findings and enjoy brilliant science shows tailor-made for a primary school-age audience.


F1 in Schools the only global multi-disciplinary challenge in which teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature compressed air powered balsa wood F1 cars. Teams must raise sponsorship and manage budgets to fund research, travel and accommodation. The challenge inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.


FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. During the INTO ORBIT season, teams will choose and solve a real-world problem in the Project. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game. Throughout their experience, teams will operate under the FIRST signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®.


Girls Hack Ireland (@GirlsHackIRL) is a programme brought to you by The Insight Centre for Data Analytics (@insight_centre), funded by  Science Foundation Ireland.

Their aim is to deliver a range of exciting,  creative and supportive workshops to teenage girls aged 13 – 17. The workshops introduce science, technology, engineering and maths to those who haven’t much experience in the area. Their special focus is on technology – teaching some coding as well as working with sensors and wearable technologies.

Together with Google, Real Nation runs the Call to Code programme which encourages young people who have an interest in coding, programming and computer science to develop their interest further and master the basics by entering the competition. The competition caters for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, meaning anyone can take part. The Call to Code competition is a core part of Google’s training initiatives in Ireland as part of its commitment to double the amount of people it will train in Europe this year to two million.


Join Google in a global competition by sharing your best idea using Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths


A free online event where school students meet and interact with engineers. It’s an X Factor-style competition between engineers, where the students are the judges.

Students challenge the engineers over fast-paced online live CHATs. They ASK the engineers anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite engineer to win a prize of €500 to communicate their work with the public.


A free online event where school students connect with scientists. It’s an X Factor-style competition between scientists, where the students are the judges. Students challenge the scientists over fast-paced online live CHATs. They ASK the scientists anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite scientist to win a prize of €500 to communicate their work with the public. https://imascientist.ie/

Learnit LEGO® themed camps are designed to inspire and develop the skills of tomorrow’s engineers. They offer a range of age appropriate, LEGO themed camps. Each camp covers concepts including Mechanics, Engineering, Robotics, Construction, Science and Creativity.  Over the course of the camp, children engage a variety of STEM concepts through fun, hands on challenges.


The McKesson Women in IT Scholarship, valued at €3000 per year, will be awarded to the Leaving Certificate student with the highest CAO points entering a programme in the Department of Computer Science. The scholarship will be paid to the recipient for each year of her undergraduate degree programme.


Take part in a video making contest all about science communication!


The SciFest programme consists of a series of one-day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) fairs for second-level students. The aim of the programme is to encourage an interest in, and love of, the STEM subjects. The programme is designed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible. Established in 2008 the programme is now implemented at four distinct levels.


Check out the newest resources and events on the official education portal of the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland. Curriculum focused resources and support for primary and post primary teachers.

The RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase scheme is an outreach activity which gives school students the chance to learn about spectroscopy through hands-on experience. As well as covering the principles of spectroscopic techniques, the activities use real-life contexts to demonstrate the applications of the techniques. The kits are hosted by Universities and events are delivered by University staff and students, so have a strong emphasis on encouraging school pupils to consider studying chemistry and the career opportunities available. The scheme is free of charge, with no costs involved for interested schools.


Trinity Walton Club is a STEM club with a difference. They provide a unique learning hub for students who are passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Based in Trinity College Dublin, the Walton Club delivers an innovative and interactive educational experience to secondary school students.

Nine out of 10 parents want their children to study computer science but fewer than half of high schools offer it as an option, according to a report on coding education from Code.org.External link:open_in_new

Part of the push is to get kids at a young age learning how to code. It serves as a pipeline building tool, getting students interested in STEM careers at an early age that might push them to pursue those careers later in life. But coding can also teach kids problem-solving, creativity and patience.

Coding can get complicated, though. How can educators help children understand intricate, technical topics? What resources are available to them?

With the help of coding educators and experts, Engineering@Syracuse has created “Kids + Coding: Resources for Educators,” a collection of tools and tips to make introducing kids to programming easier.

More information here.

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