Lab demos and workshops at GMIT for Engineers Week

Students and staff at the GMIT School of Engineering will host a series of laboratory demonstrations and workshops for secondary and primary school pupils from Monday as part of Engineers Week.

The events are for Leaving Certificate and transition year students, as well as primary pupils (second to sixth class ), who will also learn about the wide variety of career opportunities in various engineering disciplines.

Students in the Department of Building and Civil Engineering will host workshops and laboratory demonstrations on Friday March 8 from 10am to 12 noon. Second year students from the BEng in software and electronic engineering programme will be running workshops in the programming language Scratch over several days. Students in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering are offering a look behind the scenes at how everyday things are designed and manufactured. This workshop is suited to students with an interest in a career in mechanical, energy, manufacturing, biomedical, or agricultural engineering.

Engineers Week is a national festival which aims to highlight the exciting and eclectic world of engineering and the important work of engineers. The week runs from March 2 to 8.

“The week-long festival of nationwide events celebrates the world of engineering in Ireland," said Shane Newell, lecturer in the Department of Building and Civil Engineering, GMIT. "Engineering touches every part of our lives and offers young people the chance to make a positive difference to the world in which we live. A recent report by Engineers Ireland stated that there are not enough engineers with the necessary skills to meet demand in the medium term, which means that there are plenty of job opportunities for engineering graduates. Shortages of engineers restricts business growth, competitiveness and the delivery of key projects.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out what civil engineering is about and what kinds of subjects are studied in this engineering discipline. It will also give pupils a flavour of what they can expect as a student of civil engineering in GMIT,” Mr Newell added.

Students in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering will host Scratch workshops for pupils in Gaelscoil Dara and Creagh NS. The GMIT electronics students will also run workshops in neighbouring Mervue schools St Michael’s NS and Holy Trinity NS.

Natasha Rohan, lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, said: “This year we plan to deliver the workshops to 130 children. It’s great to see the children having so much fun programming, and in the process learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work together. Many thanks to our fantastic student tutors.”

Aine Bleahene, science co-ordinator with Creagh NS, which also participated in last year's workshops, said: "By all accounts the workshop was educational, fun, interactive and exciting. In fact, most of the children rated it as one of their best days ever in school."

Dr Paul Fahy, lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, said: “As engineers we find solutions to everyday problems, so we have planned live demonstrations on the use of advanced technologies to manufacture medical devices such as coronary stents, CNC milling and turning technologies to produce custom designed products such as a GMIT ball point pen. We also will offer an insight into some of the interesting projects designed by our students, such as electric go-karts and human arterial flow simulation system."

For more information on Engineers Week see www.engineersweek.ie

To book places at the civil engineering events on March 8, contact Shane Newell at [email protected]. For details on civil engineering in GMIT, see www.gmit.ie/civil-engineering/bachelor-engineering-honours-civil-engineering

The Scratch workshops are fully booked. For details about software and electronic engineering in GMIT, see www.gmit.ie/electronic-and-electrical-engineering/department-electronic-and-electrical-engineering

To book places on the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering workshop on ‘A look behind the scenes at how everyday things are designed and manufactured,’ email [email protected] or phone 091 742871/085 8034748. For further details of mechanical and industrial engineering in GMIT see www.gmit.ie/mechanical-industrial-engineering/bachelor-engineering-mechanical-engineering

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