Research & Innovation

Design, Build, Discover – Explore the Fun Side of Engineering With IT Sligo & Abbott

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Design, Build, Discover – Explore the Fun Side of Engineering With IT Sligo & Abbott

Design, Build, Discover – Explore the Fun Side of Engineering With IT Sligo & Abbott
February 27
12:16 2020

IT Sligo, together with healthcare leader Abbott, have announced that they are hosting the Northwest region’s second annual Engineering Fair as part of IT Sligo’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The family-friendly fair will be held in the Institute of Technology Sligo on Sunday the 1st March from 12–5.00pm and admission is free.

The event, which is being run as part of Engineers Week in conjunction with Science Foundation Ireland and Engineers Ireland, will include a wide range of performances, interactive displays, workshops and demonstrations for all the family to enjoy including a “thespian robot” with a wide repertoire to entertain all audiences.

RoboThespian is a life-sized humanoid robot designed for human interaction and is fully interactive and multilingual. RoboThespian has appeared in many famous places including NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. Visitors on the day will also be greeted by another interactive robot, NAO, pictured above, who is currently being programmed by PHD students at IT Sligo.

Speaking at the launch, Daragh Fallon, CSR and Communications Manager at Abbott in Ireland, said: “The work of engineers is all around us, from our homes and communities, to the products and life-changing technologies we depend on. The Sligo Engineering Fair helps young people to understand the vital role played by engineers through interactive and hands-on sessions. At Abbott, we are always looking to the future; today’s students are the inventors and innovators of tomorrow. That’s why we’re honoured to work together with IT Sligo to help inspire the next generation of innovators to realise their potential.”

Stephanie O’Neill from the SFI Discover programme which provided significant funding for the event, explains why getting young people engaged in engineering and technology is important for Ireland: “Engineers are really important to Ireland’s economic prosperity and we need many more engineers to help us deal with the challenges of climate change and sustainability. However, engineering can often be overlooked as a career choice, especially by females, due to misconceptions about what engineering work involves. The Sligo Engineering Fair is an opportunity for young people to engage with engineering in a fun way and learn how it is about working on challenges as part of team, involving problem solving and creativity.”

Engineering Lecturer at IT Sligo and Project Leader of the Engineering Fair, Dr. Marion McAfee, encourages everyone to come along to what will be a very enjoyable day out for all the family: “This is a unique opportunity in the northwest for all age groups to get engaged in engineering, especially young people.”

Interactive workshops at the Sligo Engineering Fair will include: Air powered rockets, hydrogen cars 3D Gaming, Mechanical Art and how to build your own freezer!

For more information about the Sligo Engineering Fair 2020 visit

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