Secondary Students Showcase their Love for STEM at Trinity Walton Club
Posted on: 30 May 2016
Seventy-one secondary school students (aged 13-15) from around the country showcased their STEM projects and prototype solutions to societal problems at a special exhibition and graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28th, at Trinity College Dublin. The event marked the end of the first 30 weeks of their Trinity Walton Club 100-week STEM education journey.
Named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Ernest Walton, the Trinity Walton Club (http://www.tcd.ie/waltonclub/) provides a unique platform for students to connect with like-minded individuals and develop their passion for STEM. Marian Woods, daughter of Ernest Walton, was also present on the day.
The Club forms part of a broad programme of activities supported by Bank of Ireland through an expanded partnership with Trinity College Dublin. Other supported activities include student initiatives, alumni, enterprise and innovation, and clubs. The expanded partnership will be announced on the occasion of the Walton Club graduation ceremony.
Commenting on the Trinity Walton Club, Liam McLoughlin, Chief Executive Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland, said: “Bank of Ireland and Trinity College have a long legacy of working together and we are delighted to support the Trinity Walton Club, an initiative which succeeds through the talent and enthusiasm of students and staff. Ireland’s continued achievement across science and technology can only be assured through support for programmes such as this and I commend everybody involved for their commitment and effort.”
Trinity Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: “We are educating the next generation of scientists and potential Nobel Prize winners through important initiatives such as the Walton Club. Building these students’ skills and deepening their knowledge in STEM amounts to a significant investment in science education. We are delighted that Bank of Ireland is also on board with us in this new partnership that includes outreach, student and alumni activities. All of these supported activities go to enrich people’s lives, equipping them for life as well as employability and entrepreneurship.”
The ‘Alphas’ – named after the ‘Alpha particles’ Walton observed in his Nobel Prize-winning experiments – showcased their prototypes and projects at the event. Among this year’s innovative projects were a health watch that uses voice recognition to help wearers track food intake, a room describer that allows blind people to gain information on the layout of a space upon scanning a discrete tag, and a baby sock monitor that records temperature, pulse and movement, and then scans this info via WiFi to parents’ phones.
The Trinity Walton Club offers secondary school students the unique opportunity to express, shape and grow their interest in STEM research. The overarching goal is to complement the science and mathematics education the students receive at secondary school, while supporting them to confidently take ownership of their learning and take it in new directions.
Director of the Trinity Walton Club, and Assistant Professor in Physics at Trinity, Arlene O’Neill, said: “These young STEM pioneers committed their Saturday afternoons, over the past nine months, to broadening and deepening their STEM knowledge and skills. It has been a real privilege for the team of educators and I to support them on their journey, and we look forward to continue to work with them over the coming years.”
Each Saturday, Trinity’s open learning spaces and labs come alive with students eager to learn more about STEM. These explorers have enjoyed the unique opportunity to see what goes on in Trinity’s research facilities, work alongside PhD students, and engage with Trinity academics and invited guests.
The Trinity Walton Club was named in honour of Ernest Walton, Ireland and Trinity’s only Nobel Prize winner for science, for his work in splitting the atom.
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