Raising public awareness of potential careers in science, engineering and technology is a key role played by Engineers Ireland, and each year it awards an individual or organisation that has done this through promoting careers, education or similar in this sector.
This year’s award went to the Galway Education Centre for its initiative in providing courses and funding projects for primary and post-primary educators across the fields of science, engineering and technology.
Ireland cannot become a top five global economy by 2020 unless it has a year-on-year increase of 7pc in the number of engineering graduates produced, said Jim Browne, president-elect of Engineers Ireland, at the awards ceremony.
“The continued promotion of engineering and science to our primary and post-primary school students is crucial to increase the uptake of engineering at third level,” he added.
The Galway Education Centre provides course for educators across the county in subjects that help teachers incorporate digital media, the interactive whiteboard and interactive science experiments as part of the classroom curriculum.
The centre, which was founded in 1973, has supported many projects including the Galway Science & Technology Festival and has responsibility for implementing the Department of Education’s T4 technology subjects support service for the senior cycle.
“We have been working closely with a wide range of organisations from the education, industrial and scientific sectors in the west of Ireland for a long number of years, in order to spread the word about the importance of science and engineering to the future of the region and the country,” said Bernard Kirk, director of the Galway Education Centre.
“This award means a lot to the centre and to Galway, and it provides us and our partners in science, engineering and technology education in Galway with the encouragement to continue with our efforts,” he added.
By Marie Boran