St Angela’s College students Clodagh Hegarty, Ruth Fitzgibbon and Lucy O’Callaghan at the announcement that Iarnród Éireann is to schedule dedicated I Wish STEM trains free for teenage girls attending the I Wish STEM showcase 2023. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Choo-se the train says I Wish

I Wish is going full STE(A)M ahead next year as it announced a new partnership this week.

The organisation inspiring teenage girls towards science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers has announced a new partnership with Iarnród Éireann to secure free transport for female students travelling from Munster to the annual I Wish STEM Showcase event 2023 on February 28 in the RDS, Dublin. As part of the partnership, Iarnród Éireann will put on dedicated I Wish STEM return trains to Dublin, for students departing from Cork, Mallow, Killarney, Tralee, Limerick and Thurles.

The 9th annual I Wish STEM hybrid event 2023 is set to host an audience of 3,000 teenage girls from around the country in-person, with the virtual TV style live broadcast aiming to reach more than 10,000 teenage girls globally. The 2022 I Wish STEM event drew an audience of 17,036 second-level students from all 32 counties in Ireland as well as from 28 countries across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.

Gillian Keating, co-founder, I Wish said: “We are delighted to announce Iarnród Éireann as our national travel partner. This will enable teenage girls to travel for free by train from designated Iarnród Éireann stations to the I Wish STEM showcase event where they will have access to top female STEM role models. It is very exciting to get back to our live events for 2023, even bigger and brighter than ever.”

She continued: “The ethos of I Wish is to make STEM accessible to all and ensure #NoGirlGetsLeftBehind. Our partnership with Iarnród Éireann reinforces that.”

Barry Kenny, Corporate Communications Manager said: “This is an important partnership for Iarnród Éireann which will see us supporting the I Wish mission to inspire more teenage girls towards STEM careers.

“This is also a fantastic opportunity, as record investment sees us become the backbone of Ireland’s sustainable transport network, to highlight the STEM roles available to these young women at Iarnród Éireann from ecologists to environmental scientists, mechanical engineers to digital forensics and cyber security experts.”

He continued: “With barriers persisting for female students in STEM according to the recent annual I Wish Report 2022, including poor gender equality and a lack of confidence, we hope that partnerships like this, will help towards accelerating the pace of change.”