27 May LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Schools Project Awards
Minister Damien English TD presents the overall award at the Closing Ceremony and Awards for LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Schools Project
On Friday, 20th May, the Louth and Meath Education & Training Board (LMETB), the largest comprehensive educational provider in the Louth and Meath region, in partnership with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), held a celebratory Closing Ceremony and Awards event for the two finalist schools in the LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Schools Project, with Minister Damien English TD, Minister for State for Business, Employment and Retail presenting an award to the overall winner, The Multitasker from St Oliver’s Community College, Drogheda, Co Louth.
The Awards event for the two Louth schools, including Bush Post Primary School, Dundalk took place at the new state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre for Excellence (AMTCE) in Xerox Technology Park, Dublin Road, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
The Advanced Manufacturing Project programme consisted of 4 distinct elements, namely:
- The delivery of 3D modelling and 3D printing training to teachers involved in the programme
- Student training whereby a researcher from Irish Manufacturing Research visited each school, and students were given a specific project challenge rooted in project-based learning including a Design Thinking Workshop
- Visit to the Irish Manufacturing Research Centre in Mullingar introducing the teachers and students with interactive demonstrations to Industry Standard Facilities, what they do, and the new technologies being used in the transition to Industry 4.0.
- Students from participating schools presented their projects, demonstrating challenges encountered, how these challenges were overcome, teamwork, the background/context to the project idea, and the processes put in place to deliver the final product.
Speaking about the Schools Advanced Manufacturing Project, Mr Martin O’Brien, Chief Executive of LMETB said:
“The programme’s aim is to inspire the next generation of students to consider high-skilled STEM careers, and to broaden teachers’ views of the careers of the (near) future. The programme’s project challenge introduces students and teachers to real-world applications of STEM and technologies used in advanced manufacturing, enabling both teachers and students to learn new skills that allow them to better contextualise what is taught in schools with the requirements of the modern workplace. Students experience real-life applications of engineering/ICT whilst also interacting with engineers from diverse backgrounds, highlighting potential career paths available to them in all areas of STEM, whilst teachers also have the opportunity to upskill in design software and 3D printing technologies.”
Mr O’Brien continued:
“Based on the proven success of the programme to date, we are planning to offer the programmes in all of our schools in Co Meath and Co Louth this coming September, and are currently revising and expanding the curricula for the programme, with the overall ambition being to make this initiative available nationwide”
Minister Damien English TD, who presented the winning school with their award added:
“It is through innovative grassroots schools’ initiatives such as this that we see an evolving educational curriculum, thought and practice leadership in action with tangible impact for STEM participation and Industry 4.0 skills development in advanced manufacturing. Changing sectoral needs and technological innovations require early intervention at primary and post primary levels and beyond in order to help maintain the competitiveness of Irish manufacturing and technology companies in today’s global economy. Judging by the calibre of the project work and the outputs that were in evidence at today’s event, it seems that the future is bright indeed and very much in safe hands”
To date in 2022, LMETB has run four Advanced Manufacturing School Projects in close collaboration with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and Fastrack to Information Technology (FIT).
Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR), CEO, Barry Kennedy said:
“It’s evident that with the speed of technology and digital transformation in the world today, Ireland needs to figure out how to rapidly and securely introduce these emerging technologies to stay relevant in the market place. This is where sectoral partnerships are truly important. Working with partners such as LMETB and AMTCE who are re-imagining how to deliver the necessary education and training programmes, from primary level up to third level, IMR is proud to play a role in increasing STEM participation amongst young people all across Ireland, from the ground up, through experiential learning initiatives such as the Advanced Manufacturing Schools Project.”