23 May 2022

Kilkenny students to Engineer the Gaelic Games of the Future

Four out of five people see engineering as a rewarding career choice for young people


The all-Ireland competition, ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ was launched in Croke Park by Mary Ryan, Tom Parsons, Caroline Spillane, Mark Langtry, and Neil McManus

The creative and dynamic world of engineering is set to come to life in schools and homes across Kilkenny as STEPS Engineers Week 2022 kicks off this Saturday, March 5.

Running until March 11, Engineers Ireland’s largest celebration of the engineering profession aims to encourage young people, their families, and teachers to explore the creative world of engineering and the limitless opportunities a career in the sector can offer.

As part of the week-long campaign of activities and events, primary and secondary school students in Kilkenny are being challenged by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) to engineer how the Gaelic Games will look by the year 2050.

The all-Ireland competition, 'Engineer the Game of the Future’ aims to encourage students to bring their problem-solving, creative and communication skills to the world of sport and to engineer a futuristic vision of the Gaelic Games. 

Chartered Engineer Tom Parsons, CEO of the GPA and Engineers Ireland STEPS Ambassador, said: “Engineering is not only critically important to society’s sustainable progress, it is also at the forefront of advances in the sports we love. Whether it’s equipment that keeps us safe when we play sport, technologies that analyse our sporting performance, or environmentally-friendly ‘smart’ stadiums that harness AI to help fans enjoy the match-day experience, engineering is at the core of it all. In fact, my own knee was reconstructed from grafted ligaments from other parts of my body through a remarkably innovative feat of medtech engineering!

“Engineers are the problem solvers to the great challenges our society faces, and I strongly encourage the creative students of Ireland to take part in the ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ competition and tell us their visions and ideas for our great Gaelic Games. Part of STEPS Engineers Week 2022 which kicks off on 5 March, this competition is another example of the incredibly diverse nature of modern engineering and highlights the exciting opportunities that a career in the area can offer,” he added.

There are two separate competition categories for primary and secondary school students to enter before the deadline of Friday, 25 March 2022. The entries will then be judged by a panel of experts including Engineers Ireland members and players from the Gaelic Players Association. Prizes include GPA Corporate Box tickets for a major 2022 match, a day out in Croke Park and a virtual meeting with a Gaelic hero of choice. 

Now in its 16th year STEPS Engineers Week is coordinated by Engineers Ireland's STEPS programme - funded by the Department of Education and industry leaders Arup, the EPA, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). 

With a new Behaviour & Attitudes survey showing that 80% of the public see engineering as a rewarding career choice for young people, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland, urged teachers, students and their families to get involved in STEPS Engineers Week activities and said: “Skills in engineering can foster incredibly exciting and diverse career paths as Tom’s own journey has shown. Engineers are vital to Ireland’s progress in virtually every societal area, from digital to medical, infrastructure to environmental advances. STEPS Engineers Week will provide students in Kilkenny with the opportunity to participate in the numerous week-long activities and events. I would encourage all students, teachers and families to get involved and witness first-hand the wonderful ways Irish engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity, creativity and innovation.” 

Highlights of the week-long campaign include:

  • A series of in-person and online Family Fairs to inspire Ireland’s future engineers through interactive workshops and shows will take place in Dublin, Munster, Sligo and Galway on Saturday 5 and Sunday, 6 March  
  • Free engineering resources and activities, such as teacher challenge packs for primary and secondary  school students, engineering trails and quizzes, which are available in both English and Irish. Primary school teacher and blogger, Múinteoir Valerie, has also created a new free resource for children with autism to get involved in the Week and to gain an insight into the world of engineering in a highly visual and accessible way 
  • Free-to-attend and on-demand virtual engineering shows for primary and secondary students by Explorium, Scientific Sue and other STEM professionals 
    Hear from engineers at all stages of their careers and working in a variety of disciplines at our ‘Meet the Engineer’ events. 
  • For example, students are invited to join Engineers Ireland’s Cork region and Young Engineers Society on 9 March to hear about the development of Ireland’s largest solar farm. 
  • Free documentaries and video series, such as The Story of Water by Irish Water and Engineers Ireland’s Engineering Excellence Digital Series.

Held in association with ESB, this six-part video series showcases Ireland’s talented engineers and some engineering projects completed in 2021. Students can also find out more about each engineer featured in the series by accessing the accompanying ‘Meet the Engineer’ summary, which highlights each engineer’s education and career and provides students with some top tips on why they too should consider a career in the profession. 

To get involved in the ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ competition or to download free resources, including engineering activities, shows and documentaries, visit: https://www.engineersireland. ie/schools/engineers-week

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