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Junior Cycle Engineering

This subject will provide students with an exciting opportunity to use many of the tools and machines within the workshop. The subject explores three main areas: Principles and Processes invloved in Engineering, Design and its application and Mechatronics. Principles and Processes will look at topics such as Safety, Bench work, Materials, Mechanisms and Structures, Drilling, Lathe work and Mechanical Joining. Within these topics students will encounter a variety of projects that will cater for a diverse range of skills within the class. A greater influence will also be placed on design allowing students to develop an engineering mindset, engineer effective solutions to problem and express their individual creativity through their project work. Mechatronics explores the world of controlling electronics and mechanisms with computer software. Over the course of Junior Cycle students will develop the necessary skills to fully design, programme and control their own projects.

The subject of Engineering has gained greater recognition in recent years and is actively promoted as a STEM subject with huge opportunities for career progression. This has resulted in more females taking up the subject in secondary school and third level education.

By the end of the 3 years students will have developed a level of expertise across both their practical work and their understanding of the theory related to Engineering. They will have participated in many projects that will develop their practical skills to a level where they have an opportunity to achieve a high grade at Junior Cycle Level. These projects will be scaffolded in such a manner that each project will ask a little more of the student, testing and developing their practical skills in the process.

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Senior Cycle

The subject aims to develop students problem solving skills, develop their project management skills, instil them with critical thinking skills whilst making them think like an engineer as they focus on precision and accuracy in their project work. Many of the topics covered at Junior Cycle will be explored in greater detail over the course of the 2 years. A focus will also be placed on other topics such as manufacturing of plastics, pneumatics, welding and thermal equilibrium diagrams. Students will also have the opportunity to explore 3D printing, CNC control and laser cutting processes which form a part of the continuously evolving technology of modern society.

In fifth year a huge emphasis will be placed on theory in Engineering as the aim is to cover the majority of the of the course before sixth year. In sixth year students will focus on their design and make project. This project occurs each October and runs until late February. Students must fully investigate and research the project, plan and design the project, before manufacturing, assembling, wiring and finishing the project. 

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An example of such project is shown below: 

"The Irish Coast Guard operates one of the world's most sophisticated Search and Rescue services. It directly manages and controls three marine rescue coordination centres, using a national paging and shipping monitoring network. Central to its Search and Rescue operations are Helicopters, the most modern of which is the Sikorsky S92. There are six located at four bases around Ireland. Each of the aircraft is fitted with a variable speed rescue winch/hoist, which allow rescue personnel to be lowered and raised safely to and from the rescue scene. The versatility of the aircraft is also enhanced by the fitting of an automated rear ramp. The ramp can be used for the deployment and recovery of personnel when the helicopter has landed on the ground. Design a model Search and Rescue Helicopter to the general specifications outlined below."

The Helicopter should be your own unique design and should:

(a) Have one sliding door;

(b) Incorporate an electric variable-speed winch/hoist;

(c) Include an automated rear ramp.

Future Career

Choosing this subject opens up a vast variety of future careers. A list of careers is outlined below:

  • Aerospace engineering

  • Agricultural engineering

  • Architectural engineering 

  • Bioengineering

  • Chemical engineering

  • Civil engineering

  • Computer engineering

  • Electrical engineering and electronics engineering

  • Environmental engineering

  • Industrial engineering 

  • Materials engineering

  • Mechanical engineering 

  • Nuclear engineering

  • Petroleum engineering

  • Plastics engineering and polymer science 

  • Structural engineering

  • Systems engineering

However due to the practical nature of the subject it is very beneficial to students no matter what career path they choose in the future.

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