Michelle Naughton, Postgraduate student with the NCBES at NUI Galway, demonstrates how the human brain works to Íosold Ní Mhóráin from Scoil Iognáid, Galway City, at the recent NUI Galway EXPLORE exhibition.
May 16 2014 Posted: 09:41 IST
  • 180 students and staff join forces to build a range of campus and society-enhancing projects.
  • EXPLORE Expo celebrates 28 projects from mobile apps, education books, journals to student study aids, interactive beach information, new ways of studying Shakesphere in schools.
  • 400 staff and students have delivered 69 projects to date

The results of 28 joint student and staff projects focused on making an impact on society were unveiled at a ceremony in NUI Galway today. The EXPLORE Programme brings staff and students together to develop projects that can have a positive benefit on campus and also for wider society.

Each project receives up to €1,000 in funding. This year’s projects include: ‘ShoutOut’, an anti-homophobic bullying programme for schools; ‘STARTS’, workshops in which NUI Galway students teach staff how to develop mobile apps; ‘Capture your Campus’, a campus-based amateur photography competition and exhibition; an Undergraduate Science Fair; a clothing brand based on the University’s “Big Yellow Thing”; the installation of a beehive on campus to promote awareness of pollinators; and a project bringing Shakespeare to life in secondary schools using theatre.

Members of the public can see the impact of these projects in many ways:

  • Copies of one project’s book, ‘Scary Noisy Things’, which is aimed at helping toddlers understand their emotions, will be available online and coming soon to Galway libraries.
  • School teachers can contact ‘ShoutOut’ and the Shakespeare projects about visiting their schools.
  • The ‘I Like Beaches’ project will soon have information boards on the importance of our beaches, placed on the Salthill prom.
  • Quick response (QR) codes will be added to exhibits at NUI Galway’s Zoology and Marine Biology Museum in the coming weeks.
  • A project which produced literature aimed at educating carers on how to avoid pressure ulcers will be shared in Ireland, the UK and North America.
  • The Surgical Training Workshop project will be see the next generation of surgeons learning the skills that will save lives for decades to come.
  • The Choral Online Resource (CÓR) project will put hard-to-find traditional Irish songs online for a global audience.

Previous years’ projects include ‘Cell Explorers’, a programme whereby undergraduate science students and their lecturers visit primary schools showing schoolchildren basic scientific experiments. This project has gone on to expand across the country and has been awarded over €50,000 in external funding.

NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Seán Kearns: “The Students’ Union is very proud of the EXPLORE initiative. EXPLORE shows how staff and students can work in partnership to achieve an incredible synergy to the benefit of our campus and the wider community.”

NUI Galway’s Vice President for Innovation and Performance, Professor Chris Curtin, said:“EXPLORE is a fresh approach that harnesses the talents and passions of our campus community. EXPLORE has demonstrated our commitment to innovation as well as the power of staff-student partnership to achieve outstanding & exciting results in a very short space of time.”

The project list and more background about the EXPLORE programme are available at http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/index.php/projects.

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