Clare Education Centre Programmes

STEAMING Project 2019-2022

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€360,000 Awarded to Clare Education Centre and MIC to Enhance STEAM Learning in Schools throughout Ireland and Europe

Clare Education Centre in partnership with the Department of STEM Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has been awarded a €360,000 grant from Erasmus+ to fund research in STEM Education. The funding provided will be used for the development of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) expertise primary schools in Ireland and throughout Europe.

Led by Clare Education Centre, this 3-year research project aims to ensure that all learners have access to high quality STEM education.  Clare Education Centre and the Department of STEM Education at MIC and will partner with organisations in four different countries and through the development of specialist STEM teachers, known as ‘STEM Champions’, children in schools in Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Norway, and Greece will be given the opportunity to proactively engage in STEM learning.

Head of the Department of STEM Education at MIC, Dr Aisling Leavy, said: “A key priority in European and national policy is to increase knowledge and competence in STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, thereby fostering essential innovation and creativity. We are delighted to contribute to this effort through identification and analysis of best practices in STEAM education at primary and secondary school level. This ERASMUS+ award, targeted at developing strategic partnerships for school education, focuses on engaging students in the creation of their own STEAM learning.”

She continued by saying, “This grant is an opportunity for the Department of STEM Education at MIC to contribute towards improving STEM literacy in schools and ensuring that all learners have access to high quality STEM education. This research will advance the goals of the Department of STEM Education to bring all learners, particularly those from diverse and marginalised communities, into contact with STEM.”

Commenting on the partnership with MIC, Ray McInerney, Director of Clare Education Centre said: “The promotion of STEAM education and active learning methodologies are core priorities for Clare Education Centre.  This project, in collaboration with MIC will significantly facilitate the development of STEAM education and will result in the development of training programmes, teaching resources and learning activities which will be of relevance locally, nationally and internationally.  In recent years, Michael Browne has pioneered the engagement of many Clare schools in STEAM education and this project will provide opportunities for teachers and pupils to further embrace STEAM teaching and learning”. 

He added, “The ultimate beneficiaries of the project are the children whose educational attainment is likely to be enhanced by active involvement in their own STEAM learning”. 

Cratloe NS, O’Callaghan’s Mills NS and St Senan’s NS Kilrush will be involved centrally in the project in addition to a further twelve schools in Clare.  Michael Browne will lead the project for Clare Education Centre with the support of Ray McInerney (Director).    The research team from the Department of STEM Education at MIC consists of Dr Aisling Leavy, Dr Anne O’Dwyer, Dr Ed Corry Dr. Mairéad Hourigan and Michael Browne.

The four partner organisations that MIC and Clare Education Centre will work with over the three years are: Agrupamento de Escolas Carlos Gargate (Portugal), Osnovna Skola Matije Gupca (Croatia), Luster Commune (Norway) and Directorate of Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki (Greece).

First STEAMING Erasmus+ Project Meeting hosted by Clare Education Centre - 11th to 15th November 2019

First STEAMING Erasmus+ Project Meeting hosted by Clare Education Centre - 11th to 15th November 2019

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Clare Education Centre hosted the first project meeting of the STEAMING Erasmus+ Project from November 11th – 15th 2019.  STEAMING is a three year project about engaging students in the creation of their own STEAM learning.  The project is a Research and Development programme in STEAM education and training. STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.  The project is being led by Clare Education Centre in partnership with Mary Immaculate College Limerick and educational institutions from Croatia, Greece, Norway and Portugal. 

STEAMING Erasmus Project

The initial project meeting involved presentations, seminars, workshops and project planning.  The delegates warmly praised the STEAM workshops presented by staff from St Senan's NS Kilrush, O'Callaghan's Mills NS and St John's NS Cratloe.  Seminars were presented by Michael Browne, Evelyn Sorohan and the STEM Department from Mary Immaculate College.  There were interesting exchanges on a philosophy of STEAM education and on opportunities for developing active engagment in collaborative STEAM learning and problem solving.

School visits were undertaken to St Senan's NS Kilrush, O'Callaghan's Mills NS, St John's NS Cratloe, St Flannan's College Ennis, St Joseph's Secondary School Tulla.  The visitors were highly complimentary of the reception they received in each of the schools and commented very positively on the positive, affirmative, learning atmosphere in the host schools and the active involvement of students in their learning and in the daily life of the schools.  

Over the three year duration of the project, it is expected that over 15 Clare Schools will participate and contribute to the development of teaching and learning resources for STEAM.  It is further anticipated that the experieces and resources developed will benefit schools across all the partner countries.

Reception Project 2017 - 2019

Reception photoWelcome RECEPTION for Clare Education Centre from European Partners in Zagreb (October 2018).  

Our project is a 3-year programme of research and development in early years education. It is undertaken by 6 partner institutions integrating primary and pre-school education in Denmark, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Greece and Norway. It is focused on what we have termed the RECEPTION challenge: a trans-European need for primary schools to address the diversity of children’s social and educational preparation for their entry to primary school.

We aim to investigate and disseminate successful attempts by our partner institutions to address the RECEPTION challenge within a wide range of demographic and socio-economic contexts and educational systems, in response to the needs of diverse and often disadvantaged children. Early years children across the European area are the ultimate beneficiaries of our project, but our immediate target groups are their teachers, school leaders, and associated professionals working within Early Years Education and Care (EHEC).Our general, overall objectives are to investigate and help to meet our target groups’ needs for training and support in addressing the RECEPTION challenge. More specifically, we aim to produce a 5-day residential training course and a substantial RECEPTION handbook which can also be offered together as an online or blended learning module. In parallel, we will develop and collate a RECEPTION resource pack of materials and resources for the strategic implementation of related policies and initiatives, renewable and adaptable to the particular circumstances and needs of our target members throughout the European area.


To view the presentation on the Irish Case Study.  

The Power of Play to Promote Wellbeing and Connections with Others for Children with Autism Spectrum Differences: Are we Listening to What the Research and the Children are Telling us?  Accepted for Publication in Children’s Research Digest, September, 2018. Dr. Emer Ring, Dr. Lisha O’Sullivan & Dr. Kathleen Horgan.  

Download this file (Handbook - Final.pdf)Handbook[ ]5987 kB


The ESCI (Education Support Centres Ireland) website pulls in courses from Education Centres all over the country allowing you view all courses taking place nationwide.

Contact the Centre

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