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DkIT teach Microbes and Pharma with O’Fiaich Students

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DkIT teach Microbes and Pharma with O’Fiaich Students


Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) recently facilitated a fantastic day of fun and learning for students from O’Fiaich college of Further Education. The O’Fiaich students visited the DkIT campus as part of the Institute’s Science & Health Outreach workshops. The aim of these workshops with O’Fiaich students was to assist and inform those considering further study at DkIT.


The Germ lab and the Pharma lab workshops are part of DkIT’s extensive Science Outreach offering.  DkIT have a dedicated Science & Health Outreach website portal which you can view on the DkIT website under the “For Schools” link. All the details of what the Institute offers to local primary and secondary schools is available to view and book online. DkIT provides talks, workshops and outreach activities that promote 3rd level education as a realistic option among students. This Initiative allows students to see the Institute’s state of the art new Science facilities for themselves, they get to meet the Institute’s Scientists and get an insiders view of being a science student in DkIT.


The workshop that the O’Fiaich students took part included the Germ Lab workshop, which is hosted by Dr Orla Sherlock, where students were introduced to their fascinating Microbiomes using various Microbiology lab-based techniques and were taught how to nurture their gut microbiomes enabling participants to become ambassadors of their own health.  The second workshop of the day was the Pharma Lab which was hosted by Dr Chiara Hanlon. During this workshop students got to experience the set-up of a Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory. The O’Fiaich students got to synthesise an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) - Paracetamol through a variety of chemical techniques.


Feedback on the sessions from O’Fiaich teachers included “Both of these workshops were truly excellent. I had high expectations for these practical sessions, and my expectations were exceeded. We enjoyed it as much as the students and I got ideas for teaching and some new learning myself. Absolutely amazing, I would and will recommend to all my students and applicable teachers going forward”. Another teacher added, “It was a wonderfully engaging day and all the students really enjoyed the practical’s. They were always working on something and engaged and there wasn’t any point where they weren’t learning something”.


Whilst the most important feedback came from the students who said, “Today was very helpful and informative on the science programme offered in DKIT and has really inspired me even more to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical science industry”, “Great experience, the experience of the micro and pharma lab was very useful” another student added “It was an amazing experience doing the experiments in the labs especially the synthesis of paracetamol. The facilitators were friendly and helpful”. With a final student adding “It was so, so much fun and I enjoyed it sooo much and had so much fun and I wish to do it again and that made me consider this college as one of my choices. Working in bigger labs like this once changed my way of thinking of college”.


Dr Orla Sherlock commented “This is the first-time students from further education have participated in DkIT’s Science outreach workshops. O Fiaich students were engaged, enthusiastic, energetic and we thoroughly enjoyed hosting them. Student surveys from the day showed 100% of participants enjoyed the day, 100% would recommend it to other students and 90% said it helped inform their opinion regarding further advancement of their studies beyond their O’Fiaich courses” Big thanks to the O’Fiaich teachers who joined us for the day Mr Tiernan Dowdall and Elaine O’ Mahony.


The demand for science graduates is extremely high in our region with DkIT being a renowned supplier of highly skilled and employable students. These workshops are a great way to inspire the next generation of scientists for local, national and international industry.


IADT Generic
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