Conference Spotlights Student Motivation
Educationalists, lecturers and researchers from across the Republic meet in IT Sligo tomorrow (Fri December 6) to explore a familiar challenge– how to help students maintain maximum involvement and interest in their college studies.
Institute of Technology Sligo is hosting the International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy (ICEP), which brings together representatives from universities, institutes and independent colleges to discuss means and methods of improving student engagement.
Dr Brendan McCormack, Registrar, IT Sligo, opens the conference and around 100 representatives are expected. It is the first time that the annual ICEP event is being held at IT Sligo. Extending a warm welcome to all the participants, Dr McCormack says he is delighted that the conference is being held in Sligo this year.
Themed “The Voice of the Educators”, it aims to enable lecturers in Higher Education address, discuss and understand their roles in recognising and responding to current educational challenges.
Keynote addresses, workshop and panel discussions will span a wide range of issues. They include flexibility in provision of study programmes, bridging the gap between theory and practice, teaching in the digital age, learners as initiators and innovators, student work placement, engagement with industry and community, needs of first-time away from home students in a third-level setting, inclusive learning and the impact of policy on teaching.
The conference is organised by IT Sligo and Griffith College, Dublin
“It is an honour for IT Sligo to host this prestigious and influential conference,” says joint organiser Stephanie Donegan, Education Development and Quality Manager at IT Sligo. “Educators are pivotal to society’s development and well-being. The conference will be a valuable platform for sharing experience, studying new approaches and learning new lessons.”
Joint organiser Fiona O’Riordan, Head of the Centre for Promoting Academic Excellence, at Griffith College, said: “We are very excited about this year’s conference. The calibre of papers is very strong and the variety is vast. We are particularly pleased to be collaborating with IT Sligo on this venture.”
IT Sligo Wins ‘Best in Class’ for Online Learning Boost
IT Sligo has scooped top prize for innovation in engineering education at the prestigious Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards.
It took the Engineering Education ‘Best in Class 2013’ accolade at the organisation’s annual award ceremony in Dublin for a pioneering initiative that introduces an innovative practical dimension to online engineering courses.
The ‘Online Labs’ project beat off competition from three short-listed entries from other third level colleges in Ireland.
John O’Dea, President of Engineers Ireland presented the prize to project technician, Ross McMorrow, who was joined at the ceremony by IT Sligo colleagues, Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Andrea Martin, a Communications lecturer in the Dept. of Mechanical & Electronics Engineering, and Brian Mulligan, Programme Manager, Centre for Online learning
Ross said: “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of IT Sligo and our School of Engineering & Design. This award is further affirmation of the consistently top quality standards and innovations that our online lecturing staff bring to their material and online teaching methods year on year.”
Developed by staff at the School of Engineering & Design, ‘Online Labs’ enables engineering distance learners to conduct PC-based practical elements of courses by remotely controlling a computer suite at the Institute from home.
IT President, Professor Terri Scott, said: “I extend my warmest congratulations and thanks to all the staff involved for investing so much knowledge and personal commitment to the project’s success.
“By coincidence, the triumph coincided with our annual conferring ceremonies, which is the Institute’s the most auspicious time of year, and it was gratifying to note that online students were well to the fore among the 2,000 new graduates who received their degrees last week.
“They can all go out into the world of work, confident in the knowledge that they have internationally recognised degrees taught by progressive and research-driven staff, as exemplified in this ‘Best in the Class’ prize.”
Commenting on the awards, Engineers Ireland Director General and Chartered Engineer, John Power, said, “Engineers make a phenomenal contribution to the economy and the society at large, from input in heavy construction projects to microchip design. Engineers take basic designs and turn them into reality.
“Education is vital in developing a skilled workforce to advance Ireland as a centre of excellence in engineering. I congratulate IT Sligo for its investment and success in making engineering accessible to a wider reach of students.”
The online lab is one of several IT Sligo online learning innovations developed with the aid of EU-INTERREG funding.
IT Sligo delivers more than 40 varied internet programmes to around 1,100 students worldwide.
Online Labs project technician Ross McMorrow with the ‘Best in Class’ award which IT Sligo won at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards. Sharing in the celebration are IT Sligo lecturer, Stephen Reid, Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, and Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering.
106 jpg IT Sligo staff with the ‘Best in Class’ accolade, won at the annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Award. Pictured are Stephen Reid, lecturer, Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, project technician Ross McMorrow, Brian Mulligan, Programme Manager, Centre for Online Learning and Andrea Martin, lecturer.
Online Labs project technician Ross McMorrow with the ‘Best in Class’ award.
2,000 New Graduates Conferred at IT Sligo
IT Sligo President, Professor Terri Scott, has told new graduates that a future Technological University in Connacht-Ulster would collaborate with industry and economic leaders to ensure it becomes a catalyst for prosperity across the region.
Professor Scott is one of the leaders of the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA), a three-pronged strategic partnership launched last year with the goal of achieving the establishment of Technological University.
Opening Institute of Technology Sligo’s annual conferring ceremonies, she said: “The Institute’s partnership with Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, known as the Connacht Ulster Alliance, is already maturing.
“Let me repeat what I said to the Taoiseach when he visited us here a few weeks ago. The Alliance is not the end, merely the means to an end, an evolutionary path towards the establishment of a technological university for this region. “
Some 2,000 students are graduating during two days of ceremonies. Families, friends and other guests joined in the celebrations at the Knocknarea Arena in the heart of the 70 acre campus as Professor Scott presented parchments to the students marking the successful culmination of their years of intensive study, practical research and project work at the Institute.
Degrees are being presented to students who undertook courses at the School of Business and Social Science, School of Engineering and Design and School of Science.
The awards, which include Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy as well as Postgraduate Diplomas and Higher Certificates, reflect the range of subjects taught in the Schools’ specialist teaching Departments and their wide variety of research areas.
Among the subjects covered in Thursday’s conferring sessions are awards in Electronic Engineering, Mechatronics, Quantity Surveying, Advanced Wood and Sustainability, Interior Architecture, Forensic Investigation and Analysis, Biomedical Science, Pharmaceutical Science, Applied Archaeology, Creative Design, Fine Art, Performing Arts and Social Care Practice.
Friday’s ceremonies include Business awards in Accounting, Marketing in Event Management & PR, Applied Tourism, Recreation & Leisure and awards in Computing in Systems and Networks, Computing in Games Development.
The annual Corn Sheáin Mhic Mhagnais award, established by former IT Sligo Chairman the late Seán McManus, will be awarded to John Joe Gillen, a Lecturer in Accounting who has led the introduction of professional accountancy programmes at the institute.
In her address, Professor Scott firmly underlined the CUA’s determination to achieve its Technological University objective.
She said: “We aspire to creating a model of its kind that will allow us to make a more direct contribution to job creation and economic growth in the North West. Such a development would serve as a much needed catalyst to accelerated and sustained revival in our community’s level of prosperity.
“An important part of the outreach mission of the new university would be to institute a structured, active and ongoing conversation with industrialists and other economic leaders in the wider region. Our compass is set firmly towards that destination.”
Other key points in her address were:
- “The Class of 2013 have brought distinction to themselves, to the Institute and to the silent partners in higher education — their dedicated and supportive families.
- “The Sligo ‘brand’ of higher education, which their success has done much to enhance, continues to flourish, with demand not only in Ireland but from much further afield.
- “This academic year, we were delighted to see a 70% increase in international students who have come to IT Sligo from the USA, Canada, China, Brazil and the Middle East. Our new international students represent a vote of confidence in the quality of our staff and our courses.
- “Earlier this week over 2,000 new online learners from 41 counties commenced our first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Last month when the Taoiseach visited the campus he commended the leadership of this institute and our achievements in extending access to higher education through innovation and our worldwide virtual foot print.
- “Research saw outstanding achievement in a ten-fold increase, from €250K to €2.5 million of external funding in crucially important areas of investigation in the School of Science alone.
- “In recent weeks the government has announced that we have exited recession on the back of export growth and a rise in consumer spending and that Ireland’s economic sovereignty is on the way to being reclaimed. However, we are still only past the foothills of recovery.
- “There is, thankfully, evidence to confirm the clouds above this day of celebration are beginning to lift. I firmly concur with the view that austerity must be ameliorated in 2014 or it will, ‘jeopardise our fragile recovery’.
- “We are thrilled this month to welcome a new arrival in Sligo of Overstock.com, a company from Utah in the United states that has begun operations here on campus and already begun recruiting for the 45 software development posts they are bringing to Sligo.
- “The recasting of our economy was given impetus earlier this week by a report from government’s Expert Group on Future Skills Needs which has predicted nearly 45,000 new openings in technology related sectors.
- “Earlier this year we were delighted when Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland announced an investment of over $350 million in its Westport operation to expand both its development and manufacturing capabilities. The expansion will result in the creation of 200 new jobs at the site over the next four years.
- Abbot and GSK have together invested in excess of 100m here in Sligo. This is a welcome vote of confidence in the calibre of graduates and the talent available to these companies.
- “This year saw the completion of phase 1 of a new building programme in the School of Science. This includes new technical staff, laboratory and office space, research instrumentation areas and online delivery suite and a new Science Materials Laboratory.
- “The crane overhead notes that 2014 will see completion of phase 2 of this €17.5 million project. We will also have a new modern recreational and dining facility to enhance the facilities for our staff and students. “
- “”If anything demonstrates the breadth of our mission it is the success of two students graduating today with MSc by Research in Archaeology. Frank Johnson and Stephen Dixon are both graduates of our BSc in Applied Archaeology. They are mature students and Frank is a retired teacher who is 80 years of age. They give eloquent expression to the term lifelong learning.”
William Mahon, from Moyvore, near Mullingar, Co Westmeath, with his three year old son, Liam. William received a BSC (Hons) in Quality Management & Technology, Level 8, at the IT Sligo graduation ceremonies.
BA in Interior Architecture, Level 7, graduates Sarah-Jayne Durkan, from Charlestown, Co Mayo, Awa Musa,Sligo and Tramaine Moses, Galway, after the conferring ceremonies at IT Sligo.
Graduates from the Class of 2013 celebrate after their conferrals at IT Sligo.
IT Sligo Gears Up for ‘Science Fair 2013’
The curtain rises on IT Sligo’s popular annual Science Fair next Sunday with family-fun shows and thought-provoking public lectures illustrating the pivotal influence of science in our everyday life.
Magic routines and, juggling, interactive exploration of flight and sound, and even a bed of nails are on the bill for the opening day of the week-long free events, which usually attract around 3,000 visitors from across the North West.
Families and including career-minded young students have the opportunity for an entertaining up-close look at how science is at the root of strange phenomena and seemingly routine activities, such as electricity, light and gravity.
Topics covered in the evening lecture series include:
The Famine practically halved the Irish nation through death and emigration but did it also trigger other unrecorded hereditary impacts that have been both profound and prolonged, up to the present?
Is there life out there in the Universe? What do you know about fracking, birds of prey and freshwater invaders?
The Science Fair is part of national Science Week – a Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) project – which is on the theme “Exploring the XTRA-Ordinary”.
Monday Nov 11: Dr Peter Grindrod of Birkbeck College, University of London, speaks on “Exploring Mars: Curiosity, Water and Life”.
A fundamental question that is asked is whether we are alone in the universe. Despite exploration of our solar system and the recent discovery of planets around distant stars, the best chance of finding life remains with one of our closest neighbours, Mars. Evidence of the history of water on Mars is recorded in the rocks that we see on the surface today.
Dr Grindrod, will discuss Mars exploration over the past 50 years and the latest results from the rover, ‘Curiosity’.
Tuesday Nov 12: In “Ancestral Echoes: Why the Great Famine still impacts on Modern Irish Health”, historian Dr Oonagh Walsh of Glasgow Caledonian University will suggest that epigenetic research might add significantly to our understanding the 19th century national trauma.
Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression, the effects of which may persist over several generations. It is seen as offering the possibility of a detailed understanding of hereditary factors and their impact on physical and mental human health.
Dr Walsh says modern research into the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944, the Chinese Famines of 1959-6, Canadian ‘Ice Storms’ of 1998 and the Holocaust point to connections between maternal starvation and severe maternal stress in long-term health problems in offspring who were in gestation during those events.
Wednesday Nov 13: Dr Frances Lucy, Director of the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability at IT Sligo, issues a clarion call: “Invasive Species Management – Your Country Needs You!” She will explain how smart technology and basic nature skills could help each of us contribute to the management of invaders such as the Asian clam and invasive waterweeds.
Thursday Nov 14: Hydrogeologist Dr Pamela Bartley speaks on “Fracking: The exploration of Shale Gas reserves in Ireland – What are the issues of significance for the water environment?” She believes the practical implementation of creating boreholes deeper than anything that has ever been drilled here will be a big challenge to the international engineers who will accompany the explorers of the shale based energy reserve.
Friday Nov 15: Jamie Durrant of BirdWatch Ireland provides an illustrated talk, “Introduction to Ireland’s Birds of Prey”, describing behaviour and how to identify them.
Photo caption: Dr Frances Lucy, Director of the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability at IT Sligo, one of the speakers in the evening lecture series during Science Fair 2013.
Online Learning Project Shortlisted in Engineering Awards
IT Sligo is in the running for a prize in the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards for an initiative that brings a pioneering practical dimension to online engineering courses.
Staff at IT Sligo’s School of Engineering & Design have devised a unique technique that delivers PC-based engineering practicals in which students remotely control a ‘computer laboratory’ from home.
The ‘Online Labs’ initiative is set to alter radically how the Institute of Technology teaches engineering to distance learners. Already, three key courses are delivered using the new system, which is set to be extended to other IT Sligo online engineering programmes.
The project has been shortlisted in the prestigious Excellence Awards’ ‘Best in the Class 2013’ category. The winner will be announced at an ceremony in Dublin on November 8th in Dublin.
The technique means that online engineering students who previously had to attend the Institute periodically to use its computer-suite for practical elements of their course, can now access the suite from home and interact with the lecturer and other class members.
Project technician, Ross McMorrow, said: “A major challenge faced in delivering engineering courses online is the difficulty in linking theory with real world problems, through practical application. The Online Labs initiative was set up to provide a solution to the inherent lack of practical elements in online engineering courses.” Ross has a BEng (Hons) in Mechatronics from IT Sligo.
The online lab is one of several IT Sligo online learning innovations developed with the aid of EU-INTERREG funding. It consists of twenty student computers and one instructor computer, equipped with Citrix GoToMeeting online meeting software.
“This software allows the lecturer to provide the necessary dynamic presentation features and enhanced audio capabilities for two-way audio between students and lecturer,” Ross explained. “The student computers are equipped with remote access software which allows the students to remotely control the computers in the laboratory from anywhere in the world.
“After significant research, as far as can be ascertained, IT Sligo is the only provider of PC based online practicals through a commercial service provider, in Ireland.”
IT Sligo delivers more than 40 varied internet programmes to around 1,100 students worldwide.
Photo caption: Ross McMorrow of IT Sligo’s Online Labs development team
2,000 Sign Up for Ireland’s First MOOC on ‘Quality’
A pioneering free online learning initiative by IT Sligo is massively living up to its name just days before it hits the worldwide web.
The Institute of Technology’s launch of a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) next Monday (November 4th) adds a new dimension to the portfolio of internet-based courses provided for global audiences by higher education institutions here.
It is the first in Ireland to blend a MOOC, the fast growing internet-based learning revolution, with ‘Lean Sigma Quality’, a concept vital for industry, services and the public sector which focuses on the eradication of wasteful ways of operating, such as needless duplication.
The MOOC is the latest innovation by IT Sligo’s Centre for Online Learning, which last year won the Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award.
Usually, individual courses delivered by traditional online means attract scores or even hundreds of off-campus students.
Already though, the MOOC in Lean Sigma Quality has easily trumped that uptake level, with upwards on 2,000 students registering.
Professor Terri Scott, President of IT Sligo, said: “This is a tremendously exciting development for IT Sligo. While Massive Online Open Courses are hugely popular in the US and Canada, they are still embryonic here. We are proud to be an Irish MOOC leader. It will enable our Institute to engage more closely with the up-skilling needs of modern industry nationally and internationally.”
MOOCs, which require no formal course entry qualifications, provide high level personal professional development. They are widely used by world-leading American universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
IT Sligo’s six-week MOOC in Lean Sigma Quality will be delivered by Brian Coll and Dr John Donovan, from the School of Engineering & Design. They lecture on the Institute’s online BSc and MSc in Quality programmes. The MOOC will be accessible by anyone across the world who has broadband access and registers before the launch date.
Brian Coll said: “This Lean Sigma Quality class is normally delivered online to approximately 50 students per year. With 2,000 enrolled on the MOOC, it would take 40 years to reach the same number of students.”
MOOC students are not awarded a college qualification but receive a certificate of completion. Many employers encourage staff to take these courses as they deem them both accessible and helpful in training and up-skilling.
Professor Scott said: “In our MOOC in Lean Sigma Quality, IT Sligo is again demonstrating its determination to grasp new opportunities and push the boundaries of higher education.
“We are committed to introducing more MOOCs which will open up new educational horizons for those who might never previously have even dreamt of taking a higher education course.”
Education commentators predict that MOOCs, while not replacing on-campus degree programmes, will transform many aspects of teaching and study, not just in how and where students take courses but also by providing more people with more choice and opportunity to learn in their own time.
Brian Mulligan, Online Learning Programme Manager, said: “We see more MOOCs definitely featuring as part of our portfolio of online learning for the future. As new study programmes come on stream, we could consider doing shorter sampler-type courses, so as to gauge the uptake level of interest for other online programmes.”
See the Launch video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwEql05abb0&feature=youtu.be
Photo caption-”Lecturer Brian Coll prepares for the launch of IT Sligo’s first MOOC”.
Strong Sports Scholar Squad For FAI Football Final
IT Sligo will be well represented in the Women’s FAI Cup Final next Sunday when present and past students field out for Castlebar Celtic against Raheny United.
Nine of the squad have come through the Institute of Technology’s Sports Scholarship system.
The final, which represents the pinnacle of women’s soccer in Ireland, has a 12.00 kick-off at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, before the Men’s FAI Cup Final between Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United.
Students Emma Hansberry, Nichole Fowley, Kim Flood, Rachel King, Aileen Gilroy and Maria Harrington are Sports Scholars. Unfortunately, Maria will miss the game due to injury.
They are studying diverse areas such as Recreation and Leisure, Health Science and Physiology, Forensics Science and Business.
Three former IT Sligo students, Emma Mullin, Maz Sweeney and Deirdre Doherty are also in the Castlebar Celtic line-up.
As well as having been awarded Sports Scholarship while at the Institute, each is a winner of the prestigious Intervarsities Player of the Tournament award. Emma Mullin currently works as the FAI Football facilitator in IT Sligo.
Photo Caption: IT Sligo celebrate their victory last March in the WSCAI Premier Division Final.
IT Sligo Research Awarded Major Government Funding Boost
Work has started at the Institute of Technology Sligo on a green technology project that is a key part of a pioneering €60 million Government drive to turn top-class research into commercial realities and new jobs for Ireland.
A panel of international experts examined more than 400 proposals from across the entire third-level academic research sector last year, selecting just one in five for funding.
IT Sligo was among 13 research bodies, including universities and other higher education institutions, which were awarded funding by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research.
The Government’s overall scientific investment is intended to support 250 research posts in 85 cutting edge research projects nationwide. The aim is to identify and support innovative projects that will produce spin-off benefits in national research priority areas.
IT Sligo’s research, led by Dr. Nicolas Touzet, a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science, is investigating whether certain strains of microscopic algae in estuaries and lakes in the north west of Ireland may have hidden commercial potential. The project has been awarded a €387K support package for a duration of four years.
Dr Touzet, who is from Toulon, in south-east France, has lectured at IT Sligo for the past two years and has carried out research on microalgae for more than a decade, both in France and Ireland.
He is a member of the Institute’s new Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS), which is focused on developing and increasing research capacity in the areas of applied ecology and resource management.
Dr Touzet says: “Green technologies encompass a range of activities such as biofuel generation, environmental bioremediation or the harvest of high-added value chemicals from natural sources. These research areas have great potential for the creation of highly qualified jobs and the generation of substantial revenue in Ireland.”
As well as being vital for healthy ecosystems because they constitute the basis of the food chain and produce the oxygen that aquatic life uses, some species of microalgae are also used worldwide in commercial applications. These include animal and aquaculture feeds, pharmaceutical compounds for medical sciences and food supplements for human nutrition.
Dr Touzet says: “We want to successfully isolate and grow microalgae that produce chemicals of high biotechnological potential so that the operation can be scaled up on an industrial basis to deliver products to specific market niches.”
The new funding has enabled the creation of two new postgraduate student positions, which have been awarded to Lorraine Archer, who is from Boyle, Co Roscommon, and Donal McGee, from Falcarragh, Co Donegal.
The project also involves external academic and commercial collaborative links. Research into the anti-microbial properties of the microalgae successfully brought into culture will be conducted by the project’s academic collaborator, Dr Gerard Fleming, at his laboratory in NUI Galway. Mr. Franck Hennequart, of Oilean Glas Teoranta (OGT), in Kilcar, Co Donegal, will advise on preliminary processing possibilities and potential marketing opportunities, in his role as industrial collaborator.
Photo caption: IT Sligo lecturer, Dr Nicholas Touzet.
‘XTRA-Ordinary’ Events in Store at Science Fair 2013
The countdown is on to the biggest free show in town, the annual Science Fair at IT Sligo.
It is a week of evening lectures on topics as diverse as Mars exploration to ‘fracking’ and shale gas reserves, all launched on Sunday, November 10, with a fanfare of entertaining family-oriented shows giving fresh insights into the world of science.
The 14th Science Fair at Institute of Technology Sligo is part of Science Week, which is a Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) project. The aim is to promote the relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in everyday life and to demonstrate their importance to the future development of Irish society and the economy.
IT Sligo’s combination of fun, friendly and educational science shows and evening lectures usually attract around 3,000 visitors from across the North West, many of them career-minded school students. Science Week’s theme is “Exploring the XTRA-Ordinary.”
Dr Jeremy Bird, Head of the School of Science at IT Sligo, said: “The Science Fair goes from strength to strength and is now obviously a regular fixture for many families. It is a week-long platform for exploring and understanding the impact of science, its strengths as a driver of national economic growth and the opportunities for science based careers.
“As well as the fun side of it, the evening lectures should be extremely popular. A strong line-up of speakers will be addressing some very important and intriguing issues as diverse as Mars Exploration to the implications of the Great Famine on human health in Ireland and the diaspora”
The programme also includes a mid-week lunchtime nature walk, starting at the campus, led by two members of the Sligo branch of BirdWatch Ireland
Among the Sunday’s packed fun-day line-up are:
* Kelvin Recycle Magic Show – magic routines and puppets that promote environmental awareness.
* Science Ireland – interactively exploring flight, waves, light, sound, electricity etc
* Entertaining Science Circus Show – learn why jugglers love gravity, and how clowns use science to avoid hurting themselves.
* X-traordinary Science – let Scientific Sue and her fire breathing dragon, Norbert, take you on an amazing journey of scientific discovery.
* Science, Magic or Mystery – watch water disappear and tornadoes appear in bottles.
Click here to download brochure
“Exploring Mars – Curiosity, Water and Life” by Dr Peter Grindrod. Despite exploration of our solar system and the recent discovery of planets around distant stars, the best chance of finding life remains with one of our closest neighbours, Mars. Evidence of the history of water on Mars is recorded in the rocks that we see on the surface today. Dr Grindrod will discuss Mars exploration over the past 50 years and the latest results from the rover, ‘Curiosity’.
“Ancestral Echoes: Why the Great Famine still impacts on Modern Irish Health” by Professor Oonagh Walsh. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression, the effects of which may persist over several generations. Modern research into major human trauma events demonstrates a link between maternal starvation and severe maternal stress with long-term health problems in offspring who were in gestation during those events.
Professor Walsh, will suggest that epigenetic research might add significantly to understanding ‘Why the Great Famine still impacts on Modern Irish Health’.
“Invasive Species Management – Your Country Needs You” by Dr. Frances Lucy. Dr. Lucy will focus on the pressures invasive species place on our natural world and what we can learn about the mistakes we made with the zebra mussel invasion! In order to detect invasions at an early stage the public need to keep their eyes open to spot new invaders or the spread of those species already present, e.g. Asian clam. By combining smart technology and our basic nature skills, you can contribute to the management of a range of invasive species including a number of specific plants and animals.
“Fracking – The Significance for the Water Environment” by Dr. Pamela Bartley. Dr. Bartley will explain the three phases in the development of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract gas from shale formations below ground level. She will discuss the technologies involved in the Investigation, Construction and Exploitation phases as well as the possible environmental impacts, such as, aesthetic/visual and the legal constraints on developers to comply with legislation for the protection of surface water, groundwater, birds and habitats.
“Introduction to Ireland’s Birds of Prey” by Jamie Durrant. Jamie’s talk will be an entertaining illustrated talk which will introduce the birds of prey of Ireland. He will give us details of their life and behaviour and also explain how to identify them in the field.
He has a fascination for birds of prey which has taken him to the Southernmost tip of Spain to witness the raptor migration – once witnessing over 2,500 raptors pass overhead in less than an hour and a half. He is also a keen photographer.
Each talk is at 7.30pm in Lecture Theatre A0004 or A0006. Topics and speakers are:
||Monday, 11th November
||Tuesday, 12th November
||Wednesday, 13th November
|| Thursday, 14thNovember
||Friday, 15th November
||“Ancestral Echoes: Why the Great Famine still impacts on Modern Irish Health”
||Invasive SpeciesManagement –Your Country Needs You!
||“Fracking: The exploration ofShale Gas reserves in Ireland –What are the issues of significancefor the water environment?”
|Introduction to Ireland’sBirds of Prey
||Full, Family Day ofScience & TechnologyActivities
||Dr Peter GrindrodCentre for Planetary Sciences, UCL/Birkbeck,University College London
||Prof. Oonagh WalshCentre for Social Historyof Health and Healthcare, Glasgow Caledonian University
|| Dr. Frances Lucy,Ecologist, IT Sligo
||Dr. Pamela Bartley,Hydro-G Consultancy,Galway
||Jamie DurrantBirdWatch Ireland
||IT Sligo, Main Building
||IT Sligo, A0006
||IT Sligo, A0006
||IT Sligo, A0006
||IT Sligo, A0006
||IT Sligo, A0006
||12noon to 6pm
Nov 11: Exploring Mars: Curiosity, Water and Life – Dr Peter Grindrod, Research Fellow in Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Nov 12: Ancestral Echoes: Why the Great Famine still impacts on Modern Irish Health – Professor Oonagh Walsh, Glasgow Caledonian University Centre for Social History of Health and Healthcare.
Nov 13: Invasive Species Management – Your Country Needs You! – Dr Frances Lucy, Lecturer in Ecology, Dept. of Environmental Science, Institute of Technology, Sligo
Nov 14: Fracking: The exploration of Shale Gas reserves in Ireland – What are the issues of significance for the water environment?- Dr. Pamela Bartley, Hydro-G, Galway
Nov 15: Introduction to Ireland’s Birds of Prey – Jamie Durrant, BirdWatch Ireland
Photo caption: Scientific Sue and a show-stopping moment during last year’s Science Fair at IT Sligo
Count on it — Maths is No Problem
IT Sligo’s wide-ranging events during national Maths Week added up to an all-round enjoyable and educational time for the many pupils, teachers and parents.
The eighth annual Maths Week was aimed at changing perceptions and underlining the importance of mathematics as a vital stepping stone to many career opportunities, as well as generally popularising the discipline and improving mathematical literacy.
Intricacies were unravelled, new ideas introduced and novel problem solving approaches were elaborated upon in a variety of workshops and other events at several Sligo venues. People of all ages took the opportunity to learn, and have fun at the same time.
Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering at IT Sligo, said: “A good foundation in maths is invaluable for so many career opportunities these day, in particular for those in the engineering and technology sector.
“It was marvellous to see, especially, so many young people get so much out of Maths Week. At each event the atmosphere was ‘user friendly’ and relaxed, yet really instructive. Maths Week is a great way of encourage people’s interest in maths, while also correcting old misconceptions about the subject.”
Key events included ‘Maths Puzzling’ workshops for 9-14 year olds, hosted by mathematician Douglas Buchanan; a lecture for teachers on the Financial Maths syllabus for the Leaving Certificate, given by IT Sligo lecturer Cillian O’Murchu; a workshop on how to use the WIRIS Maths Add-In for Moodle quizzes, by IT Sligo lecturer Kevin Collins: and the popular annual Maths table quiz, organised by mathematics research students Fergal Gallagher and Faye Monaghan, the proceeds of which go to the RNLI.
Caption: Mathematics is a subject for all ages, and you never stop learning. Pictured during Maths Week are Calry NS pupils Leigh Conway, Sophie Cawley Conboy, Lauren Gordon and Conor Walsh, with IT Sligo lecturer Grace Corcoran, research student Faye Monaghan, lecturer Ian McLoughlin, Una Parsons, Head of the Institute’s Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, and workshop host, Douglas Buchanan.
Caption: Pupils in the age range 9-14 see the funny side of learning at one of the events organised by the Institute of Technology Sligo during national Maths Week event.
Mathematician Douglas Buchanan demonstrates how easy it is to be tied to a subject for life when you really enjoy it. He was hosting an IT Sligo-organised workshop for school children during national Maths Week.