Owen J. Roberts Students Participate in iWish STEM Twinning Program with a School in Ireland

OJR and Loreto DonegalTeam photos from Owen J. Roberts High School and Loreto Community School in Ireland. (Submitted Image)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Owen J. Roberts School District (OJRSD) and a school in Donegal, Ireland are collaborating in a global STEM twinning initiative piloted by iWish, a multi-award-winning program dedicated to showcasing the power of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to female students internationally.

The Chair of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, Marian Moskowitz spoke to over 15,000 female teenage students today from across the globe at the 8th annual I Wish STEM showcase. She said, “The past two years have clearly shown that STEM is an area of great opportunity and the need for a talented workforce in these fields has never been more necessary. However, while the need is growing for a specialized and expert STEM workforce, which we are clearly seeing ourselves in Chester County, it is evident that not everyone has an equal opportunity to enter the space. It is vitally important that inequality ends and it is through global initiatives like I Wish that positive steps are being made around gender disparity.”

The iWish partnership with the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and supported by the Chester County Economic Development Council will see students in grades 9-12 from Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania connect virtually with transition year students from Loreto Community School in Milford, Donegal. The first tailored online sessions took place on November 30, 2021, and the program is set to be rolled out in further U.S. and Irish schools in the future.

“This twinning of schools in Ireland and the USA will increase awareness of the various STEM opportunities and practices across the globe along with featuring international STEM speakers,” explained Caroline O’Driscoll, co-founder of iWish. “By creating a network of global schools with different approaches and experiences, we are giving students on opposite sides of the Atlantic the opportunity to connect, explore and imagine.”

Participating schools have picked one of three themes — transformative technology, the world through my eyes or protecting the planet — to be explored over several weeks. The program includes joint presentations by students, with projects and a panel discussion taking place at iWish’s showcase event on February 10, 2022.

During the activation of the program at OJRSD, program coordinator Mary-Rita Bonner said, “As educators, we want to expose our students to the full range of STEM career options early on, eliminate stereotypes and create a more balanced approach to STEM. We are delighted to kick-off the iWish IVCA Twinning XChange, for what will surely be an inspiring and motivating program, allowing our girls to broaden their horizons by learning more about STEM from their peers.”

This program is part of an expanded offering from iWish, which now engages girls year-round at key touchpoints in their lives. Along with its free annual global STEM event on February 10, 2022 (registration at iwish.ie/register), iWish is running third-level mentoring programs and primary school classroom visits with young STEM professionals and students. The iWish Senior Cycle includes the twinning program and internships, while the Junior Cycle provides aligned class materials.

Free registration opens Monday, February 14, 2022, at https://gettpa.org/ for Chester County’s upcoming STEM day for girls called Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.

Thanks for visiting! Looking for some Chester County pride? We got you covered! Shop our MyChesCo store and show your love for Chester County, Pennsylvania. We got shirts, hats, and more – all with a unique ChesCo flair. Plus, proceeds from each purchase helps support our mission of bringing reliable information and resources to the people of Chester County.