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DFEi Learners are blazing a trail with STEM

Posted on April 24, 2017

The DES emphasis on STEM subjects over the past number of years is the catalyst for the increasing popularity of science courses at third level and the resultant sky-rocketing of CAO points on all STEM courses. DFEi has responded to this need with the introduction of two new courses specifically designed for those interested in STEM.

Laboratory Techniques: Pre-university Science Level 5 QQI) and Food Science and Nutrition: Pre-University (Level 5 QQI) courses have links to numerous Level 8 degrees at UCD, Trinity, DCU and Maynooth to name but a few.
DFEi has a proud history of employing industry experts to enhance the delivery of courses which prepare learners not just for college, but for the working world. So, continuing a winning formula of bringing industry expertise to the classroom, DFEi has recruited Eileen Connell, an industry expert in food science, to head up these courses in DFEi’s new state-of-the-art laboratory. ‘The most exciting aspect of these courses, are the industry links – we have regular field-trips to real-life working laboratories and production facilities’.

Even though this is the inaugural year of the Laboratory Techniques course, this class have been busy! Learners have learned how to create DNA genetic finger prints. While they may never work for CSI, these skills will not go to waste, as they are used in the food industry to identify food fraud. During Science week in November 2016, learners had a special focus on Type 1 diabetes with a talk from a Diabetes Ireland speaker and a professional cyclist with the condition. Dr Claudia Gomes da Rocha of Trinity College, in conjunction with Smart Futures Ireland, spoke about her work in computational physics and careers for women in STEM.

But by far the most popular among the learners were the field trips to the Culinary Food Group in Naas and Rye River Brewing in Celbridge. Learners got to see the practical application of their college experiments and to learn that there are exciting jobs and careers in STEM. Eileen was also able to capitalise on her industry network by arranging a visit to Amgen an US pharmaceutical company, based in Dún Laoghaire, where the science teachers were able to catch up on the latest industry techniques in modern molecular biology.

Click here for full details of the Laboratory Techniques and Food Science courses.


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