AOL engineers week
Mercy Secondary School students at AOL for Engineers Week, via AOL

AOL’s Engineers Week showing no Mercy

2 Mar 2016

AOL put students through their paces for Engineers Week with a crash course in coding seeing robots, mazes and gaming take centre stage.

Students from Mercy Secondary School were invited down to AOL’s offices to take part in a range of projects as part of Engineers Week celebrations, with some following on from a December ‘Hour of Code’ event.

Working with Dash the robot, five girls coded in Blockly. Through this, they programmed Dash to drive around in triangles, through a maze, and even push objects through a route.

Elsewhere, another 18 girls took a course in Javascript, which was a bit more advanced, giving them a taste for what has become one of the major programming languages of the current digital age.

This used the Codecademy website to work through a tutorial that involved problem solving and learning the structure and syntax of Javascript to eventually code their own game.

Mercy Secondary School students at AOL for Engineers Week, via AOL

Mercy Secondary School students at AOL for Engineers Week. Image via AOL

Engineers Week is a fine time to impress on kids, teachers and parents that being an engineer isn’t just an occupation, it is a quality and a way of thinking that holds the key to everyone’s future.

But a key influence on Engineers Week remains Ireland’s glaring talent gap, thus the need to promote STEM skills to schoolchildren from as early an age as possible.

We’ve already highlighted a list of 10 engineering roles in demand and, to be honest, it could be a far longer list if we wanted it to be.

The STEAM Education organisation and the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland centre have launched the Engineering in a Box programme for primary-level students, which is a help.

The programme, which has already been successfully adopted by the Welsh government, provides lesson plans, as well as all relevant materials and supporting resources, online support and expert mentoring for little makers who want to dismantle things and get their hands dirty.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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