The Clare Education Centre STEAM Couture Challenge Showcase


The Clare Education Centre STEAM Couture Challenge Showcase

7th April 2022

Over 1000 pupils from Primary Schools in Clare, Limerick, Galway, Tipperary and Kerry participated in the inaugural STEAM Couture challenge which was hosted by Clare Education Centre. The STEAM Couture Challenge was devised by teachers in the STEAM Community of Practice at Clare Education Centre. The aim of the challenge was to engage pupils to work collaboratively to design an item of clothing or accessory, which was sustainable, durable, functional and stylish. This item had to be created using materials from the Recycling Bin.

A Teacher’s Information webinar was held on March 22nd hosted by teachers from the Clare Education Centre STEAM Community of Practice. Ideas and suggestions were presented on how teachers could facilitate their pupils’ participation in the project and stimulate their curiosity, imagination, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers were encouraged to stimulate class discussions on possibilities and to encourage groups of pupils to work collaboratively to turn possibilities into reality.

Subsequently, it quickly became evident that many classes were fully engaged in planning, designing and creating their submissions for the STEAM Couture Challenge. The organisers were busy responding to queries from interested teachers in addition to guiding the challenge with their own classes. Excitement built as draft creations were shared on WhatsApp groups and questions posed on how the designers had solved design challenges.

April 7th 2022 was the designated Showcase Day and Zoom was the designated platform. Over forty classes joined the Zoom Meeting and the excitement was palpable. The meeting started with a prerecorded fashion show from Parteen National School with pupils strutting their creations on an improvised catwalk to an upbeat soundtrack. The meeting participants were then ‘Zoomed’ to the playground at Cratloe NS where the whole school seemed to have gathered for their live STEAM Couture Fashion Show. Over the next hour, the STEAM Couture ZOOM Showcase featured a mix of live broadcasts and pre-recorded videos featuring an extraordinary array of fashionable creations, modelled by pupils and presented by their classmates. The outcome was simply amazing and all watching the Zoom meeting warmly applauded and cheered each class who presented. The STEAM Couture creations themselves were a source of wonder and awe with pupils displaying shoes, bags, capes, clothing, hats and accessories all made using items from the recycling bin.

The STEAM Couture Challenge was an enormous success with the ZOOM Showcase giving all participants the opportunity to share their creations and to observe and appreciate how other classes participated in the challenge. What was most apparent was the enjoyment derived by all participants from their participation in the challenge.

STEAM is all about active learning and facilitates pupils to collaborate in an enjoyable way while using the skills of problem-solving, creativity, inquiry and critical thinking.  

The STEAM Community of Practice at Clare Education Centre devised and organised the STEAM Couture Challenge. They modelled the approach they hoped that teachers would take in their individual classrooms by setting out the challenge, allowing interested teachers to discuss how they might run the STEAM Couture Challenge with their classes and giving tips and guidelines on how to guide pupils’ participation using STEAM skills.

The STEAM Couture Challenge is the latest initiative from the STEAM Community of Practice at Clare Education Centre to promote STEAM education in Primary Schools. Previous initiatives include the publication of Full STEAM Ahead Issue 1 and Full STEAM Ahead Issue 2, the hosting of STEAM themed TeachMeets and the hosting of STEAM Professional Development webinars for teachers.

The STEAM Community of Practice was established in conjunction with the STEAMING Erasmus+ Project which is led by Clare Education Centre with partners from Mary Immaculate College, Portugal, Norway, Greece and Croatia.

The members of the STEAM Community of Practice at Clare Education Centre are:

Michael Browne (Convenor)
Ray McInerney (Director, Clare Education Centre)
Maeve O’Dwyer (Coore NS)
Aaron Carroll (Cratloe NS)
Davina Kehoe (Cratloe NS)
Jo O’Brien (Cratloe NS)
Sharon Brady (O’Callaghan’s Mills NS)
Niamh O’Dea (O’Callaghan’s Mills NS)
Siobhán Barry (Parteen NS)
Ruth Andrews (Parteen NS)
Rachel O’Donnell (Scoil Íosaf, Newcastle West)
Sarah Keane (PDST)

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Contact the Centre

  • Tel: 065 684 5500
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Clare Education Centre,
Govermment Buildings,
Kilrush Road,
Co. Clare.
V95 F782