Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal in partnership with Smartbay, GMIT and the Marine Institute

SmartBay, Ireland’s national marine research test and demonstration facility teamed up with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) to deliver an interactive workshop for second level students which aimed to highlight the growing opportunities within the Marine Information Communications Technology sector in Ireland.

Transition and fouth year Physics and Chemistry students from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, an Spidéal, were invited to attend a pilot workshop which took place on 30 January 2014.

Coláiste Chroí Mhuire were chosen as the Marine Institute will be working closely with Coláiste Chroí Mhuire’s students in the near future, when the research station the Institute is building on the grounds of Coláiste Chroí Mhuire is fully mobilised.

Coláiste Chroí Mhuire encourages its students to think beyond third level to fourth level when they are planning their futures.

The school has a long tradition of sending students to study science related courses in university.

The workshop, entitled 'Exploring the Sub-Sea Environment' demonstrated the use of innovative applications of new and existing technologies within Galway Bay, the Irish coastal waters and beyond.

The workshop had been specifically designed to inform students of the exciting and diverse career opportunities which have emerged through the application of Information Communication Technologies in the marine science sector. The workshop included:

  • applications of gaming technologies
  • robotics
  • computer simulation
  • next generation communications technologies

The workshop introduced students to the multidisciplinary approach utilised by SmartBay to facilitate research, test and demonstration projects in a fun and intuitive manner.

Presentations and hands-on exercises focused on:

  • monitoring of the sea floor
  • marine mapping
  • ocean observatories
  • the deployment of equipment & instrumentation
  • data acquisition in a marine environment

Edel O'Connor, National Coordinator, Advance Marine Technology Programme, Marine Institute said:

"Through initiatives such as the SmartBay workshop, the next generation of innovators will be supported in expanding their knowledge and broadening their horizons on the future opportunities associated with the marine in Ireland. Research, test and demonstration facilities available through SmartBay will help to facilitate the development of the Marine ICT sector and it is important that young innovators are aware of the opportunities at an early stage."

The students have been invited to present a poster on three key thematic areas including; Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Habitat and Marine Monitoring, which were completed through both English and as Gaeilge (Irish) as Coláiste Chroí Mhuire is situated in the Gaeltacht, and were appraised by representatives from both GMIT and SmartBay.

Three of the students were prize-winners, May Ni Choistealbha, Sorcha Ní Fhrighil and Beth Dowling.

The workshop were delivered using a combination of practical exercises, interactive discussions, presentations, demonstrations and also included a tour of GMIT's Marine and Freshwater Research Centre.

Dr Carina Ginty, GMIT Schools Liaison Officer, said:

"Exploring the SubSea Environment workshop is a great opportunity for secondary school students to expand their knowledge of the Marine Sector while helping them identify potential career opportunities”.

Each student was presented with a certificate of completion from GMIT and SmartBay at the end of the day.