Making the world of engineering, its real-world applications and exciting careers opportunities more tangible and accessible for students
Secondary school students from across the Midlands got a unique insight into the wonderful world of engineering, gaming and spaceflight at Athlone Institute of Technology last week in a series of educational workshops and talks designed to inform, excite and inspire. Organised in association with Medtronic and Midlands Science as part of Engineers’ Week 2019, Athlone Institute of Technology’s festivities were intended to make the world of engineering, its real-world applications and exciting careers opportunities more tangible and accessible for students.
As part of the week, transition, fifth and sixth-year students, accompanied by their teachers, were treated to a seminal Space Careers Roadshow, where they learned about engineering careers in space, specifically in the areas of materials, robotics and software engineering and what it takes to get there from an academic and industry perspective. Students also learned about opportunities in space tourism and exploration, and how, by 2027, people could be living permanently in moon colonies. They also heard how invaluable new technologies like artificial intelligence and 3D printing are to the new space economy, and the skills underpinning them.
Elsewhere students buckled up for the Dr Mindflip Ultimate Adventure Experience, an immersive choose your own adventure-style video game developed by Maynooth University to make physics and engineering more accessible and engaging for young audiences. Housed in a Tim Burton style ‘Physics Caravan’, students were taken on a weird and wacky journey, following the story of mad scientist Dr MindFlip and his robot assistant.
Industry partner Medtronic was also on hand to show students how to intubate a dummy patient – a lifesaving procedure often shown on medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy. With some words of encouragement from Shan Perkin and the rest of the Medtronic team, students got the chance to carry out this procedure themselves and learn about the lifesaving equipment Medtronic produces, career opportunities available within the company, and how they use engineering to solve real-world problems.
Commenting on the success of the event, Dr Sean Lyons, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, said: “Engineers’ Week gives students the opportunity to explore the worlds of Science, Engineering, Maths and Medicine and their varying intersections, and is instrumental in encouraging the future matriculation of secondary school students into these subjects and, ultimately, careers.”
Engineers’ Week is a national celebration of engineering in Ireland and is dedicated to showcasing the diverse opportunities and career paths open to young people considering a future in STEM. Engineers’ Week is coordinated nationally by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, which is funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme Call.
Students, are you interested in pursuing an Engineering career? Check out our suite of STEM programmes, including our Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Polymer and Mechanical Engineering, our Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics and our Special Purpose Award in Robotics and Automation (Springboard+). Awarded Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year 2018, Athlone Institute of Technology is currently first nationally of all HEIs in the Irish league table for student satisfaction and first across the technological higher education sector for research.