Synopsys and Junior Achievement Ireland – Inspiring Young Minds

During the 2011/2012 school year, Synopsys Dublin volunteers brought innovative, interactive enterprise and life skills to 117 students through the company's long term partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland. Over the course of the school year, a small group of dedicated employee volunteers taught programs and attended events at four local schools – Mary Mother of Hope National School, St. Patrick's SNS, Hartstown Community School and Riversdale Community College. With the support of volunteers from businesses like Synopsys, Junior Achievement Ireland reached 70,000 students during the 2011/2012 school year.

Ourselves and Our World: Programs for Elementary School Students

Synopsys volunteers taught two elementary-level school programs during the academic year. The first was the Ourselves program, which covered simple economic principles of earning and saving money through the use of a story book, activity sheets, stickers and flashcards.

Synopsys volunteer, Mayumi Lyden, taught the Ourselves program to students from Mary Mother of Hope National School

The second program, Our World, teaches STEM skills through weekly hands-on activities that explore the role science, technology, engineering and math play in the business world. Studying how technology and communications are vital growth areas in the global marketplace, students examine entrepreneurship and develop their own business ideas.

"I'm really enjoying the experience of teaching the 5th class pupils about business and the world around them. I feel that the exposure they are getting via this course will really help them to start thinking about their careers and the skills they will need to achieve their career goals," said Evan Murray, Synopsys volunteer. "It has been a very rewarding experience for me."

Economics of Staying in School and Success Skills: Programs for High School Students

Synopsys volunteers also taught two high school-level programs during the 2011/2012 school year. The first was the Economics of Staying in School (ESIS), which comprised six interactive modules highlighting the cost of leaving school early and the value – personal, educational and financial – of completing ones education.

Synopsys volunteer, Ruth Stephenson, taught the ESIS program to 2nd year students from Hartstown Community School

The second program, Success Skills, as the name suggests, highlights the critical skills employers look for when recruiting new employees. Students learned about teamwork, communication and how to effectively market themselves. The program concluded with the students completing a mock interview at Synopsys. During the mock interviews, volunteers talked to students about their ambitions, helped them put together resumes and provided feedback on their interviews.

"The trip to Synopsys was invaluable to the students! Their competitive streak really shown through as the interviews were scored and it gave them a fantastic opportunity to see a successful, sophisticated company in the flesh," said Kirsty Dixon, teacher, Riversdale Community College.