Students from Our Lady’s Bower and Moate Community School were declared the winners in competitions organised as part of Engineers Week at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) last week.
Áine Fox, Niamh Ganly, Saoirse Rigney, and Máirín Ryan from Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone won the bridge design competition. The Bugs, Birds and Projectiles competition was won by Alan Daly, Brian Daly, Ellen Sheerin, and Sinéad Shortall from Moate Community School.
Students from seven secondary schools throughout the Midlands participated in the engineering competitions held in AIT’s new Engineering and Informatics Building. The competing schools were: Athlone Community College; Castlerea Community School; Marist College, Athlone; Killina Presentation Secondary School, Rahan,Tullamore; Moate Community School; Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone; and St Mel’s College, Longford.
Those participating in the bridge building competition were required to design and build a bridge using K’nex, drawing on the key structural components of bridge construction: beams, arches, trusses, and suspensions. The Bugs, Birds and Projectiles competition required students to use Finch Robots to navigate their way around a vector maze, solving a series of mathematical problems in the process.
Head of the School of Engineering at AIT, Dr Austin Hanley, commended all of the participants. “The students displayed considerable ingenuity and imagination in how they solved the engineering challenges which we posed. All of the students’ bridges were able to withstand a considerable amount of weight being loaded on them, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The eye-hand coordination competition tested the students in different ways, and they showed a firm grasp of difficult mathematical concepts,” he said.
“Engineering offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities. Engineers Week showcases the breadth of engineering courses at third level, as well as the jobs that graduates can aspire to. Above all, it presents engineering in a positive and accessible light, and for that it is to be highly praised,” he added.
Information about engineering courses at AIT is available at www.ait.ie/engineering