Mullingar students celebrate victory at the Shaping Your Future 3D printing challenge

Back row L-R: Sinead Lawlor; Oceane Laveau; Barry Kennedy,; Deirdre Clayton; Denis Dowling; John Tiernan; Frederico Rossi; Mark Hartnett. Front row L-R: Niamh Dolan, Meadhbh Killalea, Kara Mulcahy, Ciara Mangan Lynch, Grace O Sullivan, Robert Masterson

Transition year students printed a prototype of a key aid for those with tremors

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12 December 2019 | 0

Students from Loreto College, Mullingar have been named the winners of the Shaping Your Future 3D printing innovation challenge.

Funded under the SFI Discover call, 100 students from four midlands schools were issued a challenge by researchers from Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and I-Form; design and create something useful for a person with a disability, or a person in a disaster zone.

The successful project, Keyzy, was designed by transition year students from Loreto College to help those with Parkinson’s disease or tremors to use keys with greater ease. The team also 3D printed a prototype for their key aid.

“Our students worked so hard throughout Shaping Your Future; I’m delighted to see their efforts recognised with this win,” said the winning team’s teacher Robert Masterson. “This project required imagination, teamwork, empathy and learning new technical skills. The competition has opened all of our eyes to the amazing possibilities offered by 3D printing, and we hope this win will inspire other students to consider how they could shape the future by using technology to benefit others.”

Four schools took part in the programme: Scoil Mhuire in Trim, Meath; Ardscoil Phádraig in Granard, Longford; Columba College in Killucan, Westmeath; and Loreto College, Mullingar.

Prof Denis Dowling, centre director, I-Form, said: “Manufacturing is the second-largest employer in Ireland, but what we hear from our industry partners is that they are struggling to recruit the next generation of talented engineers, who need not only advanced technical skills, but also skills in areas such as creativity and innovation, as well as the ability to collaborate and communicate. Our Shaping Your Future programme aims to change the perception of manufacturing, by encouraging students and teachers to see modern manufacturing careers as exciting, innovative, creative, collaborative and well-paid.”

Primary schools were also involved in Shaping Your Future. Under the programme, 14 teachers from the Engineering & Technology Teachers Association participated in a day of 3D printing training, where they received lesson plans and classroom resources.

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