More than 300 secondary school students from across the Midlands attended subject specific Leaving Certificate revision workshops organised by Athlone Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Engineering and Informatics last week.
The workshops, which were practical in nature and designed to assist students in their preparation for their Leaving Certificate exams, focussed on two special subject areas: Engineering and Construction Studies.
Participants attended a series of lecturer and laboratory demonstrations covering a wide variety of topics, including Building Information Modelling, Water Quality, Hydraulics, U Values and Concrete Testing, Polymer Physics, Automation to Control and Polymer Processing.
An exciting keynote presentation detailing the special topic in the Leaving Certificate Engineering Technology paper – in this instance the basic principles underpinning the operation and application of autonomous vehicle technology – was also delivered.
“Our fun, practical workshops are designed to give students a robust understanding of special subject areas and provide support to teachers across the second level education sector,” Breda Lynch, who heads the institute’s Department of Polymer, Mechanical and Design, said.
“The workshops also act as a vehicle to prepare students for the transition to third level education by treating them as if they are undergraduate students – from the material delivery, to giving them access to our state-of-the-art laboratories and even letting them experiment with our cutting-edge equipment first-hand,” she explained. “This gives them a flavour of what is on offer and helps them in their CAO decision-making process.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Joe Lawless, the institute’s head of Department of Civil Engineering and Trades, who added: “STEM education is of vital importance to shaping the future of Irish society and the careers of the next generation of leaders – something these workshops help facilitate.”
Athlone Institute of Technology is a vibrant, contemporary institute distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research. It has enjoyed a year of considerable success, most notably being named Ireland’s ‘Institute of Technology of the Year’ 2020. The institute now sits at number seven in The Sunday Times Good University Guide, Ireland’s official league table ranking the country’s 19 higher education institutes against one another.
This accolade builds upon its success in winning the prestigious award in 2018 and coming runner-up in 2017. Athlone Institute of Technology also tops the league table for research across the technological higher education sector and has been listed in U-Multirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2019 and 2018.
Athlone Institute of Technology has consistently held the top spot for ‘most satisfied student body’ which encompasses how happy students are with both their degree and overall student experience, according to the Irish Survey of Student Engagement. This is the sixth year that the institute has been rated number one nationally.
The institute is also well on its way to achieving technological university status – meaning that all incoming first year students will be graduating with a university degree.