28 May 2022

Kildare's Maynooth University researchers feature on RTÉ's ‘Change Makers’ series

Kildare's Maynooth University researchers feature on RTÉ's ‘Change Makers’ series

Dr Katriona O'Sullivan with pupils from Dublin

Two research projects undertaken by Maynooth University researchers will feature on upcoming episodes of RTÉ’s ‘Change Makers’ series on Monday, 24 and Monday, 31 January on RTÉ 1 television at 8:30pm.

Change Makers highlights the most transformative research-led projects and the inspiring people behind them across the country.

The Maynooth research projects featuring on the show, listed below, will also be available to view on the RTÉ Player.

Monday 24 January, 8:30pm: The Story Exchange Project
Monday 31 January, 8:30pm: The STEM Passport for Inclusion Project
The Story Exchange Project

Describing the work of Maynooth University researcher, Dr Sarah Meaney Sartori, and Maynooth University students, the programme focuses on a unique collaboration between Maynooth University, Mountjoy Prison and Gaisce – The President’s Award - on the ‘Story Exchange Project’.

Young people in custody in Mountjoy Prison and young people in Maynooth University, come together in the prison for peer-to-peer workshops to create a sense of shared ambitions and endeavour. Maynooth University students are randomly partnered with inmates to share a story from their lives, then each participant re-tells their partner’s story in the first person. These discussions help challenge stereotypes.

Focusing on gender equality, the STEM Passport for Inclusion Project episode features Maynooth University lecturer Dr Katriona O’Sullivan describing the project.

The project, which is funded by Microsoft Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Accenture, and the RDI Hub, supports 1,000 girls from working class communities across Ireland to move into STEM courses and careers. Current trends show that working class girls are least likely to enter STEM careers due to a myriad of factors including a lack role models, reduced STEM knowledge, experience and a limited availability of STEM subjects.

Dr O’Sullivan’s work involves identifying the STEM needs of girls and challenging gender bias by supporting women in accessing STEM skills to reduce the risk of working-class girls and women being left out of the 21st-century job market.

Other episodes of Change Makers have covered topics such as children’s health, the environment, and health and technology, and are available to watch on the RTÉ player now.


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