What is I Wish?
I Wish is a multi-award-winning initiative to inspire, encourage and motivate secondary school female students to consider Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths as a career choice. I Wish is a unique coalition of local government, higher education and industry to improve female participation in STEM through direct, high impact, fun and inspirational engagement.
The I Wish showcase events feature a conference, interactive exhibitions, female entrepreneur zone called Build IT, a teacher zone called Teach IT and a creative zone called Create IT. The event draws from the enthusiasm you bring, the energy the girls exude and the engagement of all our exhibitors to deliver an electric, high impact, powerful atmosphere that will leave you charged and determined to tap into the potential of these young women.
The Conference zone combines informative and inspirational talks by STEM role models; the conference session lasts 1.5 hours. In Cork 4 sessions are held each day back to back. In Dublin we hold 2 sessions back to back per day. Once the conference closes, the students are guided to the Exhibition Zone by volunteers to the industry showcase and engagement with STEM companies.
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The atmosphere is charged and electric as the girls register, the more the girls know about the event in advance the more excited they are. We usually have the girls in and seated within 15 minutes of arrival and we encourage the girls to download our APP during this time so they have a sneak preview of the speakers and activities planned during the session. Let the fun begin!
If you can’t see it you can’t be it…..At I Wish the girls see it in spades ! Year on year the girls tell us how much they love hearing from the Change Makers of today the women who are driving changes in our world from their vantage points across Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. These women, CEO’s, young graduates and all positions in between tell their personal stories of Choices, Chances and Changes through STEM.
Our volunteers are key to the success of I Wish; these committed STEM champions escort the girls from the conference to the exhibition zone so that they can guide them through the fantastic exhibits, answer their questions and inspire them to have Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
Escorted POD Visits
The students are led into the exhibition hall by I Wish volunteers where they visit the industry stands, engaging with industry in small groups for better engagement. Following their escorted visits students are given free time to room the exhibition hall until their session time finishes.
Check out here who our industry partners are below.
Teach IT Zone
This is a zone specifically designed for teachers giving them In-Classroom support, confidence in teaching STEM to guide students through the myriad of STEM careers. Industry and education partners also speak to teachers in the zone to give teachers an insight into the many informal STEM programmes in operation around the country. Teachers visit this Zone while the students are exploring the exhibition, but don’t worry all students are visible to the teachers while they are in this zone, it is within the exhibition hall. And you even get a nice cup of coffee !
Also Check out our Teachers Page below.
Build IT Zone
At the entrepreneur zone students can meet inspirational STEM role models and entrepreneurs. The students are encouraged to engage and converse with these leaders to truly understand opportunities in the STEM sector for establishing and growing a business of their own.
Create IT Zone
This zone show’s the students the creative side of STEM through the everyday things they hear and see, through music, film, gaming and design. We showcase how technology is shaping the world that the girls live in.
I Wish App
The I Wish APP presents the students with a number of challenges to complete during the event, as well as tracking valuable feedback from the girls. From our I Wish survey conducted each year now one of the largest surveys of female’s attitudes to STEM gives us enormous insights from the girls about their STEM perceptions and education choices.
We have been involved with I Wish since its inception in 2015 where the I Wish showcase event started out here at Cork City Hall with just 1,000 girls. We are delighted to see this important initiative for young female students grow in scale nationally and we are very proud to be a part of a plan that will position Ireland with the strongest talent pool and harness the power of the next generation of young women
Ann Doherty, Chief Executive, Cork City Council
I personally and Arup have had the pleasure of being involved in I Wish for the past 5 years. It has become a very important and enjoyable part of the Arup calendar. The impact the conference has on the thousands of transition years girls who attend each year is immense. Their enthusiasm, curiosity, optimism and hunger for all things STEM is infectious and overwhelming in the best way. On a personal level it gives me an annual boost and an injection of renewed pride and energy for my chosen career. Increasing female participation in STEM careers is a critical business need and I Wish is such a special opportunity to feel like you are part of a movement that is making a difference.
Oonagh Reid, Associate Director Arup
I loved every bit of the I Wish event . As always a fantastic event. I particularly enjoyed the exhibitors as I made more of an effort to engage with them myself – before now I would have been going around encouraging the students to engage