Muinin Catalyst Sustainable STEAM


This paper shares the initial findings from embedding design into cross-curricular learning in post-primary education, through the Muinín Catalyst’s Sustainable STEAM (MCSS) programme across 16 schools in SW Ireland. Funded by the Science Foundation Ireland MCSS is a transdisciplinary pedagogical approach that integrates design thinking and experiential learning with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Earth Charter as a thematic principle for the creation of place-based STEAM education to develop effective real-world solutions to key global challenges. Delivered through Transition Year and proposed as supporting the transitioning Senior Cycle, MCSS offers an agile response to augmenting the Irish Curriculum with design-led 21st Century future-ready skills. The project builds on three years of research and testing, MCSS was developed using inclusive / universal design principles and an eco-codesign methodology (McKeown, 2015) with social (equality, diversity and inclusion) and environmental justice issues embedded in its processes. Through the production of lesson plans and blended learning resources with 21st Century future-ready skills; creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, design thinking and the ability to communicate. Working with researchers, students, teachers and curriculum developers MCSS extends and beta test the existing agile, place-based STEAM, SDG curriculum resources. MCSS’s ‘curriculum for all’ approach was developed to support teachers and learners to become future-ready and maximise their potential, no matter subject-specific choices or subject-specific expertise. Through in-class teacher training and continuing professional development and accompanying teaching and learning network, the project seeks to facilitate embedded design-led innovative, and engaged learning within the national education system.


Rebecca White
Co-founder, Future Focus21c, Kerry, Ireland

Anita McKeown
Director, SMARTlab Skelligs _ Future Focus 21c, UCD, Kerry, Ireland


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Education


Design Thinking, Education

Digital Media


Muinín Catalyst Sustainable STEAM (pptx)