Marine Institute

Pasta Pressure - Engineering our Future Generation through Games

March 15, 2019

Alan Berry from the Marine Institute talked to children about the importance of engineering used in for SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay, where children got to observe marine life and activity under our ocean.The Marine Institute, SmartBay, Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway City Museum hosted a fun 'Pasta Pressure' workshop and showcased the world beneath the waves of Galway Bay on Saturday 9th of March, as part of Engineers Week Ireland 2019. The event was designed to encourage young people to think about a career in Engineering through play.

Alan Berry from the Marine Institute gave a detailed overview of the work on-going in Galway Bay at the SmartBay Observatory where children got to observe marine life and activity under our ocean. The SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay is an important contribution by Ireland to the growing global network of real-time data capture systems deployed within the ocean – technology giving us new insights into the ocean which we have not had before.

Highlighting the importance of STEM education and outreach Alan Berry said "It was great to share with the children the footage from the underwater camera of the marine life filmed swimming around the SmartBay observatory. The children really enjoyed seeing the fish, sharks, seals and octopus and it further highThe Marine Institute, SmartBay, Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway City Museum hosted a fun 'Pasta Pressure' using pasta and marshmallows to demonstrate engineering at the Engineering workshop_photo Galway Atlantaquarialighted how engineering is opening up opportunities to see parts of the ocean many people have never seen before".

The Engineers Week activity also included a fun 'Pasta Pressure' Tower Building Challenge. Using only dried pasta and marshmallows, budding engineers were invited to use their skills and imaginations to build an array of structures. Through this hands on activity, children learn some basic engineering principles including the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures, the effects of a low centre of gravity, a wide base, and maximizing the strength of various shapes and building materials.

Garry Kendellen of Galway Atlantaquaria said, "This Pasta Tower is a gem of an activity, and the groups were able to meet the challenges with some particularly exceptional Pasta builds. It was also very satisfying to see so many young budding female engineers participate in the activity this year, especially given that the workshop coincided with the global celebrations marking International Women's Day."

Gráinne Cronin O'Reilly of Galway City Museum added "this was a really successful workshop. The children were having great fun and laughing out loud while learning about engineering and the incredible research that is going into Ireland's oceans."

This was the first Engineers Week collaboration with SmartBay, the Marine Institute and Galway City Museum and we are looking forward to developing more of these themed fun workshops to meet our STEM needs for the future of our generation.

The SmartBay Observatory live feed can be viewed at: http://smartbay.marine.ie/

ENDS

Photo credit:

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MASTER 1: Alan Berry from the Marine Institute talked to children about the importance of engineering used in for SmartBay Observatory in Galway Bay, where children got to observe marine life and activity under our ocean.

The SmartBay Observatory is a national shared marine research, test and demonstration facility located on the seabed off the coast of Spiddal, Co. Galway. The observatory facilitates the development of cutting-edge marine renewable energy and marine ICT products and services. This is done through the trial and validation of novel marine sensors, prototype equipment and the collection and dissemination of marine data to national and international users of the facility. Follow the live feed here: http://smartbay.marine.ie/