Students Engineer Success at South West College STEM Event

STEM Activity Day South West College Northern Ireland Building high-tech robots, challenging land speed records and designing 3D models were just some of the exciting tasks on an innovative lesson plan for students who took part in a STEM-focused event held today at the South West College in Dungannon.

Raising awareness and interest in vital STEM subjects (Science, Technology, engineering and Maths), the activity day was organised by the InnoTech Centre association with the Dungannon and Cookstown Business Education Partnership to help encourage key stage 3 students to explore the rewarding careers within their grasp by supporting activities already on the curriculum.

Using real world examples to illustrate the lessons, students conducted hands-on experiments with robotics, measured their carbon footprint built, engineered complex model structures and gained insights into the Bloodhound Project – the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s plans to build a car to shatter the 1,000 miles per hour barrier.

Mary McIvor, Director of Further Education Division in the Department for Employment and Learning attended the event and said

“By demonstrating the interesting and exciting challenges that scientists and engineers face in their own careers and relate this to our student’s own work, we can look to start building a lifelong passion for learning in these important fields that will hopefully motivate students to embrace these subjects at GCSE, A-level and beyond.  Northern Ireland’s industrial heritage tells the story of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs that made this region famous. It is about turning materials and ideas into processes and products that change the way we live, and it highlights the importance and relevance of STEM subjects to our economic and social success.”

Malachy McAleer, South West College Director, said the event was a great way for students to find out more about the exciting opportunities that STEM subjects offer:

“From designing the latest video games to building record breaking skyscrapers, some of the world’s most exciting careers rely entirely on STEM skills and we’re keen to help make sure Northern Ireland is leading the next wave of world-changing talent coming.  Today’s event is all about letting pupils get a closer view of the cutting edge of science, technology and engineering in the real world outside of their books and homework. If we can keep hold of this excitement, we can create a new skilled generation with exciting careers ahead of them in the technologies, sciences and engineering that underpin modern living.”

Since its official launch in April, the InnoTech Centre has helped more than 400 students gain understanding of STEM courses open to them and prepare them for future employment as the STEM sectors become increasingly important and produce greater career opportunities for school leavers and graduates.

For more information contact the InnoTech Centre on 028 8225 5223 or innotechcentre@swc.ac.uk