Gaming, Intubation and Space Flight

Exploring the World of Engineering in Athlone for Engineers Week with Medtronic

Students from the Midlands got a unique insight into the world of engineering by taking part in a series of workshops at AIT organised by Midlands Science in association with Medtronic. As part of Engineers Week, the workshops explored everything from space flight to polymer engineering at this unique event at AIT. Students also had a unique chance to act as life-savers, performing an intubation procedure on a dummy patient. Many of the students were familiar with the procedure from medical TV shows, where the procedure is often shown in life or death situations in an emergency room. With some instruction from Medtronic staff, students got the chance to try out this for themselves and learn about Medtronic.  Tracheal intubation, usually simply referred to as intubation is frequently performed in critically injured, ill, or anesthetized patients to facilitate ventilation of the lungs. Medtronic produces a range of intubation products in a full range of sizes from adult to paediatric. Through a series of career talks, students also learnt about various careers in Medtronic and about how engineering is really about thinking creatively and enjoying solving problems.

Science and Technology communicator Declan Holmes delivered a series of shows exploring space exploration and the role that engineering plays in such exploration.  The Engineering Department at AIT delivered a series of engineering workshops exploring civil, software and polymer engineering, reflecting the wide variety of engineering courses available at the Institute. Students also got the chance to engage with Dr Mindflip’s Ultimate Learning Experience, a science outreach project with a difference! Known to many from its appearances at various locations around the country, it provides students with an immersive experience where they choose their own adventure in a game and follow the story of a mad scientist, Dr MindFlip, and his robot assistant Anustasia. This award-winning outreach project was developed by a team of scientists, film-makers, script-writers and artists with a view to making physics and engineering more accessible and engaging for young audiences. It is housed in a vintage caravan, resembling a type of metallic machine on the outside, something you could imagine out of a Tim Burton movie, which turns out to be an interactive video game about physics and engineering on the inside.

Engineers Week is a national week-long celebration of the world of engineering in Ireland. Everything from bubbles in chocolate bars to life-saving cancer treatments involves engineering. However, not enough young people, especially young girls think it’s a world for them, so industry often struggles to recruit engineering talent. It also means that young people are missing out on exciting opportunities to make a difference in their own lives and the world around them. Engineers Week is coordinated nationally by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme, which is funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme Call. Dr Sean Lyons of AIT commented that events such as this were “instrumental in encouraging the future matriculation of secondary school students into STEM subjects and, ultimately, careers.”

Medtronic

As a global leader in medical technology, services and solutions, Medtronic improves the lives and health of millions of people each year. The company is committed to improving lives through its medical technologies and solutions. With roots in Ireland since 1981, the company now employs more than 4,000 people across five sites in Galway, Dublin and Athlone. Medtronic Athlone manufactures airways products and also features an R&D Centre of Excellence.

 

Engineer’s Week at Killina Secondary School with NIS and AIT

Midlands Science was delighted to deliver a number of STEM career talks to school in the Midlands as part of the national Engineers Week celebrations. One talk which took place for a large number of students in Offaly was at Killina Secondary School in Rahan.

Dr Enda Fallon of Athlone Institite of Technology (AIT) spoke to students about Engineering courses and careers and Gerry Buckley of local network and infrastructure and support firm, NIS also presented on the day so that the young people could see it from both the corporate and academic side.

Guidance Counsellor at Killina Secondary School, Breda Mann said,

‘The staff at Killina Secondary School were pleased to work with Midlands Science during ‘Engineers Week’ to deliver some very interesting talks about the world of engineering to students in Co. Offaly. We believe that it is very important to demonstrate to students the vast diversity of both science and engineering in a practical and easy to understand manner and both speakers provided this opportunity for us on the day. We had Dr Enda Fallon from Athlone Institute of Technology and Gerry Buckley from local IT company, NIS. We will actively continue to encourage our students to consider the whole field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and showing them how it impacts our lives on an everyday basis is a great way to do this.’