Trinity Walton Club ‘alphas’ showcased STEM solutions to societal problems at special showcase events in Trinity to mark major points in their journey with the Club.
The secondary school students -- nicknamed alphas in a nod to the alpha particles Trinity alum Ernest Walton discovered in his Nobel Prize-winning experiment – take part in a 100-week programme that enriches their knowledge and love of STEM.
The third year alphas presented their STEM projects around the year’s theme of ‘Healthy Living.’ Each group had selected an area of particular interest to them, and worked to deliver a product to a specific user group that improved or impacted a problem that they face in daily life.
For example, one group, inspired by an individual’s grandmother living with coeliac disease, worked to deliver a handheld device, which could scan grocery store items and indicate if the product contains gluten. Other groups focused on innovations to aid exercise, mental health, sleep cycles, old age and posture.
Programme Coordinator, Trinity Walton Club, Kat Weiser, said: “The alphas used their growing knowledge and skills based in maths, physics, technology and engineering to propel their projects through initial research and into design and execution. The variety of topics and methods they used highlighted the student-focused and student-driven nature of these excellent projects.”
Later in the week, the first-year alphas showcased a poster session that filled the concourse of the Edmund Burke Theatre in the Arts Block with their physics, maths, technology and engineering projects. They presented their work and research to parents, educators and the public at a fantastic open event.
The alphas also enjoyed their Walton 1 graduation ceremony, which included a speech from Mrs Marian Woods, daughter of Ernest Walton, which gave delightful insight into the brilliant scientist’s home life.
Additionally, the top three third-year alpha teams presented their pitches before the winning team and project was announced as being ‘The Technological Pursuit of Happiness; Using an electroencephalographic monitoring headset and Bluetooth-connected mobile app to combat sedative drug abuse, while also improving general mental well-being in the user.”