mTech.Academy's expansion to reach 525 students and teachers across NI

  • Photo: Founders Michael O'Hara and Diane Morrow

    Tech education startup mTech.Academy announced its expansion yesterday at the launch of its school-wide programme’s second year. It will reach 450 Year 10 students and 75 teachers, at 15 schools across Northern Ireland.

    The initiative’s aim is to help students develop the “employability” skills they will need to succeed in the digital future. It also mentors educators on the future of work and changes in the career opportunities available to students.

    For the 2019/20 academic year, mTech.Academy plans to engage students in problem-based learning with a focus on driving innovation through new technologies such as 5G connectivity, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI).

    A highlight of the programme is a student field trip to a leading international technology showcase.

    Students from the participating schools will have the opportunity to experience advanced technologies firsthand through demonstrations and discussions with technology experts.

    They will also get a view of how ICT impacts various sectors of the economy and learn more about the types of careers enabled and supported by next-generation technology.

    The students’ coursework will culminate in the 2020 mTech.Academy Innovation Challenge, where students will apply the knowledge and skills they have built during the programme to create technology-based solutions that will address global issues on a local level.

    The students will present their visions to peers from mTech.Academy schools, educators, mTech.Academy partners, local dignitaries and parents at an Innovation Challenge event to be held in Belfast.

    Diane Morrow, Co-Founder of mTech.Academy said: “We saw the impact that this initiative can have on students, educators and parents, particularly in broadening their understanding of new technologies and the education and career pathways open to students, as well as furthering meaningful engagement between schools and employers. We look forward to building on this strong foundation in our second year.”

    Diane’s partner Co-Founder, Michael O’Hara added: “Building a highly capable workforce is a major priority for Northern Ireland companies; the 2019 Northern Ireland Skills Barometer cited research that nearly three-quarters of employers lacked confidence that they would be able to find sufficiently skilled people for new vacancies.

    “mTech.Academy is focused on reversing this trend, helping students to build the employability skills that companies across a range of industry sectors need today and into the future.”

    Participating schools include Abbey Community College, Antrim Grammar School, Assumption Grammar School, Belfast High School, Dromore High School, Integrated College Dungannon, Lismore Comprehensive School, Regent House School, St. Ciaran’s College, St. Mary’s Grammar School, St. Patrick’s College, St. Patrick’s College Dungannon, St. Ronan’s College, Ulidia Integrated College and Victoria College.

    mTech.Academy Co-Founders Michael O’Hara and Dianne Morrow are pictured with programme partners at the launch of Year 2 of mTech.Academy

    mTech.Academy is supported by global and local companies across a range of industries. New partners for the 2019/20 academic year include EY (Entrepreneur Partner), Microsoft (Technology Partner), Allstate Northern Ireland, Hayward Hawk and Liberty Information Technology (Industry Partners), and Agent Jones (Supporting Partner).

    These organisations join returning mTech.Academy partners Bespoke Communications, BT, Glandore, Grant Thornton, Instil, Novosco, PwC and Tenacity Works.

    Further detail on the 2019/20 mTech.Academy programme is available at

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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