Summer 2022- Marie Murphy

The STEM Teacher Internship Programme (STInt) is a Dublin City University initiative to inspire innovative learning by facilitating collaborative STEM partnership between educators, companies and researchers. 115 STInt internships have been completed since it's inception in 2016.  As of 2021 there are 25 host organisations taking part in the programme. CÚRAM is proud to be part of this innovative initiative and welcomes our first Intern for the Summer of 2022.

Marie Murphy, is the first STEM Teacher Intern to spend a summer at CÚRAM. A mature student, she has recently completed a Bachelors in Mathematics and Education with NUI Galway, a course primarily aimed at training secondary level Mathematics and Applied Mathematics teachers. To add to her knowledge and experience, she applied to and was accepted on the STint programme. This blog will summarise her experiences at CÚRAM over the coming weeks.

Week One- June 01st 2022

My name is Marie Murphy, I am a mature student and I have just completed my Bachelors in Mathematics and Education with NUI Galway, a course primarily aimed at training secondary level Mathematics and Applied Mathematics teachers. To add to my knowledge and experience I applied to and was accepted on the STint programme. This is the STEM Teacher Internship. The STint programme places pre-services STEM subject teachers into industries involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This gives teachers real world experience of the subjects that they will teach, taking STEM out of the textbook and into reality and gives solid connections from the classroom to industry.

For five years I have walked past the walls and windows of the Cúram laboratories between where I park my car and the university and apart from the Biomedical Sciences sign, I had no idea what was going on in there! However, it was my number one choice when I applied to STint as I believed this is where the real action is happening. This was the place that employed engineers, mathematicians and scientists from every discipline. Little did I realise until I began my internship this week that the scope of their knowledge base was much broader than I could have imagined.

Over the coming weeks I plan to keep a blog diary of my experience.

This week the most important thing I learned was what an Education and Public Engagement Department is. I have been primarily placed in with the Education and Public Engagement Office. I had no idea that a Medical Research and Development Centre had such altruistic goals. The primary focus of Cúram is to benefit people through medical and scientific means, they take their community outreach and teaching very seriously. Although I am only days in the door, I can see that working with schools, teachers, disadvantaged communities and improving the knowledge and health of the community is at the heart of what they do. From the people I have met the goal to improve the lives of those around them is not a task but a passion. I am already so thrilled to be a part of this. It is a dream come true to be in a position that allows me to connect with people and be the change in the world that I want to see.

On a different note, the most fascinating thing I learned this week is about the laboratory research into recovering tendon injuries. (Now I’m no scientist so this is a very basic understanding). Cúram are developing a living substitute tissue based on the knowledge learned from the tendons of horses. As horses are athletes with very large tendons, there’s a lot to learn from them. And tendon injuries in humans and horses are tricky business. Those who know me personally can expect me to be talking about this all week. It is really cool!