Electronic Engineering student teachers 'Scratch' to school children
Date Article Written:
Monday, May 13, 2013
Primary school teachers in several local Galway schools have been singing the praises of second year Computer & Electronic Engineering students in GMIT for their volunteering work teaching the programming language ‘Scratch’ to school children.
As part of their GMIT Civic Engagement module, the students taught a series of six classes (in GMIT) to children from St Nicholas Parochial School, Galway City, Scoil Chaitríona, Renmore, Holy Trinity School, Mervue and Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea. They also delivered workshops, as part of Engineer's Week, to school children in Creagh National School, Ballinasloe, and to the general public.
The volunteering project was co-ordinated by Natasha Rohan, lecturer in the GMIT Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, in collaboration with the Deri Institute and the STEPS programme. Natasha Rohan says the feedback from teachers and pupils has been extremely positive with the children loving the classes.
Aine Colleran Bleahene, Science co-ordinator at Creagh National School, says "By all accounts the workshop was educational, fun, interactive and exciting. In fact most of the children rated it as one of their best days ever in school."
Creagh NS has continued with their scratch programming classes as a result of their visit to GMIT. One student said "Since the workshop, lots of us have downloaded 'Scratch' onto our home computers and we have also begun to share what we learned with the rest of the school." The pupils’ pictures and comments about their visit are on their website: http://www.sciencecreaghns.com/index.html under Engineers Week
Carine Gachon, lecturer in Civil Engagement in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, says: “"The Civic Engagement course gives the students an opportunity to reflect on their contribution to society and helps them to engender a civic minded ethos to bring to their careers long after leaving GMIT.”
Fifth and sixth class pupils from St Nicholas Parochial School, Waterside, Galway, L to R: Danny Shields-Hueme, Rahoon, Emma Walsh, Barna, Abdullah Ali, Knocknacarra, and Lucille Destrade, Taylor's Hill with, Natasha Rohan, GMIT lecturer, Sheena Dowzard, St Nicholas' class teacher, and Scratch tutor Conor Hoary, GMIT Computer & Electronic Engineering student.