IT Sligo hosted 33 Transition Year students as part of the national ‘Engineering Your Future’ initiative, a three-day, hands-on programme designed to give students a meaningful, practical insight into engineering at third level and as a career.
The programme is designed to introduce Transition Year students to the exciting and diverse world of engineering, and to help them gain an in-depth understanding of the diversity of engineering at third level and in industry.
During the programme, the students took part in practical workshops in Electronic and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering and Civil Engineering as well as industrial visits and talks from Abbott Diagnostic and Abbvie Sligo.
The annual Transition Year programme is supported by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Smart Futures initiative – and hosted by a number of third-level institutes throughout Ireland including: University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology; Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; Institute of Technology Tallaght; Institute of Technology Carlow; Cork Institute of Technology; Waterford Insitute of Technology; Institute of Technology Sligo; and University of Limerick.
Around 330 students participated in the ‘Engineering Your Future’ programmes across Ireland during May.
“The Engineering Your Future programme at IT Sligo allowed transition year students to sample the extreme diversity that a career in engineering can offer and how the skills and principles learned throughout a degree in Engineering can be applied to any passion or interest of each individual student”,” said Shane Gilroy,lecturer in the Institute’s Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering.
Commenting on the Transition Year Programme, Caroline Spillane, Engineers Ireland Director General, said: “Engineers are involved in so many exciting and essential roles – they build cities, design medical devices, create entertainment products, maintain communications networks, and much much more. Without the input of engineers, many great ideas would remain fixed in the imagination and never become a reality.”
Margie McCarthy, Head of Education and Public Engagement with Science Foundation Ireland said: “Transition Year can be a critical point in the education pathway to third-level education. It is important that we inspire these students to increase their knowledge and understanding of science and engineering. Through the practical and first-hand experience that EYF offers, students will be more empowered to consider further study in these disciplines.”
Engineering Your Future students are tracked over a number of years to monitor their educational and career journeys. 40% of students who took part in Engineering Your Future in 2014 are now studying engineering in their First Year in college, and 64% are studying STEM (science technology engineering or maths). 80% of students who took part said the EYF programme helped them decide on their CAO choices.