Mary Immaculate College was delighted to host and deliver a number of events to celebrate Engineers Week 2019, which ran from 2-8 March. Organised by Dr Maeve Liston, Director of Community Engagement at MIC, the engaging hands-on workshops included ‘Go Fly Your Kite’ and ‘STEM Construction Challenge’ workshops for primary school children across Limerick City and County.
Engineers Week is a week-long festival of nationwide events celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The aims of the week include encouraging young people, their teachers and parents to explore the fun world of engineering; generating interest and enthusiasm for engineering in everyday lives; inspiring young people to explore engineering career paths and highlighting the diverse opportunities engineering offers.
MIC’s engineering workshops were carried out by children and aimed to reach a wide range of audiences including families, young people and adults, through accessible and inclusive opportunities to engage with STEAM experiences that are fun, engaging and inspire curiosity.
According to Dr Liston “We were delighted to engage with over 250 children and their teachers from a variety of DEIS schools and after-school-clubs with a programme of STEAM workshops focusing on merging Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics and new ways of thinking and doing STEAM. The workshops included coding and engineering challenges involving exploration, imagination and play. It was absolutely wonderful to see boys and girls from a number of different backgrounds embracing challenges and working through the engineering design process, prototyping, building, testing and re-testing and thinking like an engineer.”
Events at MIC began on Tuesday 5 March with ‘Go Fly Your Kite workshops’ held in MIC Limerick and at the South Hill after-school-club in Limerick City, where children from 8 to 12 years learned all about the science of flight and aerodynamics using kites. The children exhibited their creativity and STEAM skills when they designed, built and tested their very own kites as part of the workshop.
Other highlights included Coder Dojo at MIC on Wednesday 6 March. CoderDojo (which is currently running in Mary Immaculate College for spring 2019 with free sessions running every Wednesday from February 27 – March 20) involves children learning how to code as they create interactive games, stories and animations using Scratch, a block based visual programming language used by millions of children around the world. You can find out more here.
Engineers Week at MIC closed with workshops entitled ‘STEM Construction Challenges: The Engineering Design Process’ on Friday 8 March. These fun and interactive sessions for fifth and sixth class pupils involved learning about the Engineering Design Process by carrying out a variety of collaborative engineering design projects working in teams practicing all the skills of an engineer, scientist and mathematician. This event which was run by Dr Liston took place in St Anne’s Girls Primary School, Rathkeale, Co Limerick as well as St Joseph’s Boys National School, Rathkeale, Co Limerick.
Dr Liston noted that “The workshops delivered by MIC throughout Engineers Week 2019 aimed to demystify STEM, highlighting to children that they all can be designers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians, inventors etc. Thus removing negative perceptions towards STEM and removing traditional barriers of separating the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics”.
All events were sponsored by Irish American Partnership and Mary Immaculate College.