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"Kinia has transformed how I work with young people"

min read

"Kinia has transformed how I work with young people"

min read


"Kinia has transformed how I work with young people"

An education focused non-profit charity and social enterprise, Kinia aims to ensure future-focused skills and learning opportunities are available for all children and young people.

Through the support of the Creative Ireland Programme, Kinia’s Creative Technologies project supports the training of staff and volunteers working with young people across an array of technologies, including robotics, animation, coding, mobile filmmaking, sound production, visual design, augmented/virtual reality and makerspaces.

In partnership with Kinia, Creative Ireland sponsors creative technology training for youth workers, youth work volunteers, and other educators who work with young people. At its heart, the project is all about supporting interest in future technologies and skills development for young people in out-of-school settings, while equipping their adult mentors with the skills and tools to facilitate this vital learning.

Over the last couple of years, Kinia has worked with Antoinette Pentony, a School Completion Project Officer in Navan. With over 35 years experience working with young people, Antoinette works with secondary school students who are at risk of dropping out of school early, or who have difficulties engaging with the school curriculum. 

Antoinette was offered an opportunity to participate in Kinia programmes during the Covid-19 lockdown, and completed the Digital Creativity: Mobile Filmmaking module in 2021, followed by the Computer Science: Coding module.

As part of Kinia training, all participants receive a Kinia Kit with all equipment supplied, so that attendees get a practical, hands-on learning experience, but also so it can continue to be used with young people long after the training sessions have taken place.

I use the Kinia Kits as a methodology for engaging with the students that I work with”, explains Antoinette. “They absolutely love making the kits and I find it the perfect forum where they acquire technology-based skills and I develop long-term relationships with them, which has an enormous impact on their attendance, engagement and participation in school.”

“The young people I engage with absolutely love working with the Kinia Kits. They honestly cannot get enough of it. They also love being creative and adapting / decorating the kits as they see fit. They begin to understand the basics of circuits etc. and as they progress to making more kits you can see them transferring the skills that they have already learned.”

Even after training has been completed, Kinia provides ongoing support so every participant can feel confident and comfortable implementing the new skills they have learned with the young people that they work and interact with.

Antoinette described how Kinia Programmes positively impacted the quality of work that she does with young people:

“Kinia has opened up for me a completely new way of engaging with young people. I find it so useful in my day to day work and it has hugely impacted the relationship I have with young people and the collaboration of young people with one another developing positive relationships and friendships.”

Antoinette Pentony, Navan School Completion Project Officer

"Kinia has opened up for me a completely new way of engaging with young people... it has hugely impacted the relationship I have with young people"

“I am convinced that a study should be made of the positive impact of working with Kinia Kits and resources as a pedagogical methodology on marginalised and disadvantaged young people”, Antoinette added. “I am in discussions at the moment in relation to establishing a technology group for disadvantaged young people based in a community setting.”

In October 2022, Kinia and The Creative Ireland Programme staff visited St. Joseph’s school in Navan where Antoinette Pentony works.

During the visit Antoinette explained how she has made the best use of the Kinia training, equipment and support in her work with vulnerable young people, helping to highlight the positive impact Kinia’s training is having on the ground:

“Kinia has transformed how I work with young people in a positive way. Their training has been such a help with promoting positive learning experiences for young people.”

Keep an eye out for upcoming Creative Technology training at and learn more about Kinia and Creative Ireland’s collaboration here.

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