Dundalk as it Happens
20 students attend first ever Entrepreneurship Summer Programme for second level students in Dundalk IT
Twenty secondary level students from across the North East and Midlands regions attended DkIT’s inaugural Entrepreneurship Summer Programme which was uniquely designed by the Institute’s School of Engineering to help students develop and enhance their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
The programme is part of a national initiative, announced earlier this year by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD and was funded by the Higher Education Authority.
Students aged from 14 to 16 came from Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Westmeath attended the programme which was delivered by a multi-disciplined team from the School of Engineering, the School of Business and Humanities and the Regional Development Centre.
Throughout the week, students took part in a variety of inquiry-based and collaborative learning activities such as designing new services and building new products. Each day the students were encouraged to explore new themes from creativity and innovation to commercialisation and intellectual property. Activities were aimed at stimulating entrepreneurial thinking and design skills and encouraging students to share ideas.
The students also took part in an interactive information session with Raymond Byrne from the Centre for Renewable Energy at DkIT about importance design in the renewable energy sector. Students were provided with a visit to the campus wind turbine.
The week also included site visits to two local engineering companies with strong links to the Institute. The first included a visit to Glen Dimplex, a leading designer and manufacturer of heating products. Students received a tour of the extensive facilities in Dunleer and met with DkIT graduates Aubrey O’Coimin and Pat Kiernan who now work at the company.
The second visit was to Multihog, a Dundalk-based designer and manufacturer of multi-purpose maintenance vehicles. The students met with Managing Director Jim McAdam, a former graduate of DkIT, who provided encouraging words of wisdom for their future careers. Multihog’s Operations Manager and DkIT graduate Daniel Begley, provided a tour of the new factory in the Finnabair Industrial Estate.
Speaking about the summer programme, Dr Tom Dooley, Head of School Engineering at DkIT said, “The North East has a strong reputation for producing great entrepreneurs however we recognise that in order to continue this trend, we must find ways to inspire our young people and to ensure that entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are nurtured from a young age. The summer programme was a great example of how we can make engineering and entrepreneurship both fun and informative. We were delighted to welcome secondary level students from across the region to take part.”
Throughout the week participants developed their entrepreneurial skills by developing a plan for a new business. On Friday students had the opportunity to individually pitch their ideas and address questions from a panel comprised of DkIT staff members. All participating students received a certificate in recognition of their efforts.