Leah Ryan | Letterkenny

Last Friday the 2nd of December Donegal Digital partner the ERNACT network visited Errigal College to explore their new innovative STEM lab. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths lab is sponsored by Optum Ireland and UK. A five-year partnership with Optum enabled the school to create a bespoke lab which will serve to further promote STEM and coding, particularly amongst female students. 

The idea for the lab came from Coding, Geography and English teacher and Digital Learning Co-Ordinator David McHale who, along with the school’s Coding and Computer Science department, has been working closely with SG Education to design a space for hands-on experiential learning with all the tools needed for creativity. Supplied by SG Education and designed by Leo Scarff Design, the room maximises the use of available space and provides a safe, easily managed, and shared learning and making environment which allows for growth and development.  

Margaret Quinn, Gabriel Rojas and myself, Leah Ryan, from ERNACT, we visited the STEM lab and gave a talk to a group of students on careers in STEM. In doing so, Margaret Quinn addressed the opportunities in the NorthWest to study STEM related courses and degrees, as well as the exciting potential for employment. I presented Virtual Reality tours from the IaaS and TIDE projects which focused on the inhouse technology skills at ERNACT. Gabriel Rojas discussed his role in creative content development which includes editing videos and programming websites. 

I was very impressed with the facilities made available to students in the STEM lab, they have this great opportunity to familiarise themselves with innovative technology. Margaret Quinn also recognised how "engaged" and "eager" the students were to learn more about their opportunities in STEM. Meanwhile, Gabriel Rojas praised "initiatives like these that equip students with the tools needed to have a successful career in digitech"

The school principal Danny McFadden expressed his delight at this new forward-thinking facility, he stated: "one of the goals is to actively promote STEM subjects and careers with a particular emphasis on female students. Research suggests that if girls continue to be engaged and interested in computer science towards the latter stages of post-primary school, they are more likely to pursue college courses in the subject: we have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of women and encourage girls to see themselves as successful in the STEM areas early in the education process". 

Read more about the launch of the lab through our Donegal Digital partner, Donegal ETB.

Donegal Digital - STEM Lab.mp4 from ERNACT on Vimeo.


Would you like to know more?

Contact: Ianire Renobales
Email: ianire.renobales@ernact.eu

Share This