Transition Year Students reap rewards of ties with DkIT.

In January 20 very lucky TY students got the opportunity to spend a week in DkIT for an Enterpreneurial Week.
Below is the article published by DkIT on the event followed by a report written by one of our own TY students who participated – thank you very much to Emma for her very enjoyable report! DkIT was so impressed with our students that they have already agreed to a similar event next year.
“Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) recently welcomed 20 Transition Year (TY) students from St. Louis Secondary School, Dundalk on campus as part of the Institute’s Entrepreneurial School Week Programme. The week is designed to develop students entrepreneurial, creativity and innovation skills. The programme is delivered by a multi-disciplined team comprised of members from School of Engineering, School of Health & Science, School of Business & Humanities, as well as the Regional Development Centre.

The aim of the programme is to enable TY students to recognise entrepreneurial opportunities. Exploring possibilities is designed around the broad concept of the entrepreneurial mindset and will facilitate TY students to:

  • consider what it means to be ‘entrepreneurial’;
  • recognize their entrepreneurial potential;
  • identify sources of entrepreneurial opportunities;
  • develop problems solving skills
  • creatively engage in identifying opportunities that could benefit others.

Colman Ledwith, from the School of Engineering and Bridget Kelly from the School of Health and Science organised the Entrepreneurship Secondary School Week.

Speaking during the event Colman said,

“I believe it is important to get students involved in entrepreneurial activities at an early age to enable them to develop curiosity and confidence to explore their own entrepreneurial ability. I have been extremely impressed by the ideas presented by TY students this week.  The various workshops held allow them to recognise their own potential.”

Also speaking on the day, TY student Inga Mainule said,

“The activities throughout the week really helped me learn to think outside of the box more. There was such a mix of activities. We really got to try everything from engineering to marketing. I love coming to these programmes in DkIT so much that I’ve already signed up for another one!   Coming to DkIT is always such an exciting experience for me. We spent a lot of time here last year when our school burned down and I loved the atmosphere and the environment – it’s great!”

Fellow Transition Year Student, Victory Isyola added,

“This week has been so much fun. It has really brought out our competitive streak! Everyone is so keen to win each competition or come up with the best idea. I love that we have been given the opportunity to work with our hands and do something practical. I usually hate the engineering side of things but this week we were given the task of making a paper bridge without any glue or tape or staples and the bridge had to be sturdy enough to withstand 5 times the amount of paper used to create it, it was tough but we persevered as a team and then we got it! I was so proud of all the work we put in.”

The Programme is facilitate by staff from across the institute – all contributing to its success. Staff involved in the delivery of the programme are Bridget Kelly (Health & Science), Garrett Duffy (Regional Development Centre), Brendan Mac Quillan (retired lecturer Engineering), Neil Mc Loughlin (RDC), Kate Johnston (Business and Humanities), Fergal O Rourke (Engineering), Paul Durcan (Engineering ) and Colman Ledwith. The support team consists of Orlagh Devine, Nicola Larkin, Louise Mc Caul, Grainne Mc Kenna, (All Engineering Administration) John Collins, Pat Mc Carthy Jim Connolly (All Technical Support Staff). The programme is funded by the HEA.”

Originally published on DkIT.ie/news January 24th 2019.

Report by Emma Lynch, TY.
I really enjoyed being part of this workshop up in DKIT and I feel as though all the others who took part would agree with me in saying that it was a very helpful workshop in which we learned, saw, and tried things that very few people get the chance to.
Throughout the week people from various departments in the college came in to speak to us about how their department relates to creativity and how import creativity is in the world that we live in.
Before we even went to DKIT Coleman and Bridget spoke to us about what to expect from this week long workshop and put us into pairs, giving each pair two words which we felt went hand in hand with creativity, we were then told that we had to produce a video log from our week in DKIT based on these words.
On our first day in the college Garrett came in to speak to us about breaking existing patterns and thinking outside the box and how this is vital for any company to do well. I really enjoyed this session because while we learn a lot we also got to have lots of fun doing it as we were asked to solve various problems.
His session was followed by a session on engineering, specifically designing building and testing. This session was given to us by Brendan from the engineering department. Our task was to make bridges using only paper. This proved to be a challenge but it was a great exercise to get us thinking creatively and we had a good laugh doing it too.
We had another session on protecting ideas and intellectual property which was given to us by Neil. This was very interesting and was a topic most of us knew very little about. Neil also made this session as interactive as possible so at no stage were any of us bored.
Kate from the business department in the college led a session in which we learned about marketing. We were first asked to design packaging and come up with a name for a new product, a healthy bar. After doing so we were asked to come up with a place to sell the product. a way to promote it and a suitable price for it. We then presented our ideas in groups and voted on which product we liked the best. Inga and Victory won. This session was my favourite. We had great fun doing it but at the same time learned so much about marketing techniques.
Fergal spoke to us about energy preservation and how engineers help this. This area isn’t one that I would normally be very enthusiastic about. Fergal however managed to make it very exiting and I would no like to learn more about the topic.
On the Thursday we had a session on design and manufacturing and led by Paul and this was an amazing session. We got to design our own phone stands using computer software and then cut them using a laser cutter. In the afternoon Bridget brought us to the microbiology lab and we got to use microscopes to look at different bacteria.
I really enjoyed this course and would definitely recommend it to any future TYs if the opportunity arose for them to take part in it.
I developed many amazing skills, gained insight and learned things that aren’t on our general curriculum.
Thank you to DkIT for this experience, and to Ms Galligan, TY Co-Ordinator for facilitating such a great week of Active Learning for us all.

Aisling, Julie, Kaiya and Sophie enjoying the TY Enterpreneurship Week at DkIT.

Ty students coming to grips with their design ideas for a new healthy bar.