Dublin team up with Engineers Ireland to Inspire Students

Patricia Ferreras Gonzalez
Patricia Ferreras Gonzalez on 22nd Mar 2024


Most students won’t have the opportunity to learn about engineering careers as part of their curriculum, but plenty could become excellent engineers if they’re inspired to do so.

To provide some encouragement, our team in Dublin partnered with Engineers Ireland to take part in STEPS Engineers week, where we visited Bunscoil Syne Street and Catherine McAuleyn Primary Schools to run hands-on workshops with the students. Here’s how we got on…

Bunscoil Synge Street primary school is in the heart of Dublin city centre, where around 50% of the children have Indian, Bangladeshi and Chinese ethnic backgrounds. Naturally, the school is very proud of their diversity, inclusivity and ability to adapt to change. It stands as one of the most famous schools in Dublin, dating back to 1864.

Whilst there, Pablo Bussi and I ran two workshops: one with the junior children and the second one with 3rd and 4th years. Both groups got involved in a structures building challenge using spaghetti and marshmallows.

Pablo and I are both Spanish speakers and the importance of diverse representation was highlighted when we spoke to two of the students from South America. Whilst none of us are originally from Ireland, we were able to show the students that they too can become engineers in this wonderful city!

Catherine McAuleyn Primary School is also in the city centre, just around the corner from our office. It caters for children with Dyslexia who have average or higher intelligence and are identified as being at or below the 2nd Percentile in terms of their real word reading ability. Some students also have difficulty with maths. We met quite a few children who thought they could never be engineers due to their dyslexia, which impacts their self-esteem.

We ran four workshops: two for years 3 and 4, and two for years 5 and 6, making a total of 100 children!

Chris Akinbami took the lead on the year 3 and 4 workshops with a presentation and a civil engineering challenge based on flooding. We emphasised that was activity was about problem-solving and teamwork, where the students could find a solution without the need to use maths. We had a ball! They loved the activity and although it was messy, the teachers didn’t mind too much… or so they say!

Karl Fitzpatrick, Pablo Bussi and Jordan Morgan led the 5th and 6th year classes. The challenge for them was to create the tallest paper towel. Similar to the younger years, we emphasised that was activity was about problem-solving and teamwork. It was great to see the students getting involved in engineering and overcoming any doubts they had about their abilities.

 We look forward to taking part in the STEPS programme again in the future. In the meantime, we hope our small financial contributions to the school, as well as some gifts for the students, can continue to impact these students in a positive way.

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