NUI Galway recently conferred the second cohort of graduates from its Youth Academy. At the special ceremony held at the University, 133 primary school children from across Galway City and County were presented with certificates, with more than 800 attending the ceremony.
Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 200 children have graduated from a range of Saturday morning courses that the Youth Academy established in Italian Language and Culture, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Engineering, Irish History, Science Exploration, English and Information Technology.
The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth and fifth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools.
Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is committed to sharing knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and support of the parents gathered, for encouraging a culture of learning and knowledge among some of the youngest members of the community, who will go onto to fuel the knowledge economy.”
The Youth Academy was founded by three NUI Galway colleagues, Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, and Lorraine Mc Ilrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, and is supported by NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin. The Irish Centre for Talented Youth, based at Dublin City University, has supported and guided the activity.
On behalf of the founding members, Dr Heary said: “Encouraging and nurturing children’s strengths and interests from an early age is vital, and the University, in partnership with schools and communities can play an enormous role in this process.”
It is anticipated that another round of courses will be offered to fourth and fifth class children in Galway City and County in the spring of 2013. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, Youth Academy Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.