The Marine Institute kicks off 'Engineering Week' with its third annual transition year training week (27th February – 3rd March 2017), at its headquarters in Oranmore, Galway. Twenty transition year students from Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Cork participated in a wide range of interactive activities increasing their understanding of and interest in marine science, research engineering and technology careers.
Scientists and staff from the Marine Institute, the state agency responsible for marine research and innovation, welcomed the opportunity to share their passion and insights across a wide range of areas of marine science and maritime sectors at the Institute.
Ireland's marine sector is a vibrant part of our national economy and the need for education in the marine sector at all levels is highlighted by Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth noting. Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute said, "Increasing the student's knowledge and engagement with marine careers in science, technology and innovation, as well as the sustainable development and management of our marine resource, is key to support Ireland's ocean economy, where highly qualified and skilled professionals are needed in the coming years."
The TY training course offers students an intensive week of shadowing scientists and staff learning about marine science, technology and engineering as well as a range of diverse supporting disciplines. Promoting ocean literacy, the students took part in interactive experiments involving IT applications, marine environment and food safety, fisheries sciences, research vessel operations as well as advanced mapping, maritime development and communications. The students found themselves working with hairdryers, balls and vinegar learning about data collection to how human industrial activities affect the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean.
Interactive activities included dressing up in wet gear, forming sand sculptures of shipwrecks and working on group poster presentations provided learning opportunities that extended their skills and interests as well as raising their awareness about the ocean. "With the training week fully booked out, we were delighted to see the increased levels of interest and understanding of the marine and the direct benefits of the communications and team building training that form an essential part of this rounded programme," explained Catherine Quigley-Johnston, HR manager, Marine Institute.
The programme aims to ensure a diverse and well-educated generation of marine scientists and researchers for the future. Ms Quigley-Johnston added, "The feedback from students confirms the need for industry and third level institutes, as well as state agencies to promote training and access for young people in marine and maritime careers. The training programme also highlights the effort and willingness of the Institute's staff to share their areas of expertise with the younger generations. This is what helps makes TY open days and training weeks so successful."
To view images of the TY training week go to the Marine Institute Facebook page here