Visit to Dundalk Institute of Technology.

On Thursday last some children from our Green Schools Committee and from our senior classes were special guests at the Science and Computing (Creative Arts) departments of Dundalk Institute of Technology. Students at DKIT have been busy finishing off their final projects and studying for their exams so we were very grateful to them for giving us their time. Student Anna kindly met with our Green Schools Committee and gave an insight into her team’s final year project on Plastics Pollution in the Dundalk Bay area. It was not great news to hear that microscopic plastics were evident in their results when they tested the sediments along that shoreline.

We were very lucky to take part in a #cellexplorers workshop facilitated by Suzanne Linnane, Caroline Gilleran Stephens and their team who showed us how to extract DNA from a banana sample! We all managed to complete the experiment and bring home the DNA.  Afterwards, we constructed models of the double helix structure of DNA and learned quite a lot about DNA from students Thomas and Sarah.

After a quick quiz and our lunch we then made our way to the Computing department at the PJ Carroll building. There we met with Peter Gosling who gave us a tour of the building during which we coincidentally ran into Suzanne Smith, our founding chairperson who is involved in a project called “The Nest” where they study and research sensors and devices aimed at improving home care for elderly people.

We then went on to view an exhibition of final year projects from the computing department’s fourth year students. Some of the projects included virtual reality elements which proved very popular with the children. We then had a talk from the Liaison Officer, Diarmuid who spoke to us about future careers and the likelihood that many jobs of the future might not even exist yet!

It was a really enjoyable trip and the only negative was that we could not take more students along for the experience. Those children who were lucky enough to go along were impeccably well behaved and represented the school very well. The staff at DKIT were keen to praise the group for their great participation, enthusiasm and manners during the visit. Well done all.

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