The EMPOWER programme, a free summer camp designed and developed by Mary Immaculate College (MIC) and Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) is inviting TY & 5th year students from across Clare to register for the in person camp which will take place in Limerick from June 7th to 10th.
EMPOWER, funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), is designed to support young creative problem-solvers tackling local and global challenges. Now in its sixth year, the ever-popular programme for students across the region is growing from strength to strength. Taking place across the TUS and MIC campuses, the theme of this year’s programme is ‘The Future of Mobility’ and will see students spend a day at Jaguar Land Rover in Shannon. Students will also receive mentoring from entrepreneurs and innovators who will support them throughout the week as they work to uncover challenges and develop solutions.
John Cormican, General Manager, Vehicle Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, R&D Software Engineering Centre, Shannon: “We are really looking forward to welcoming participants to our R&D Software Engineering Centre in Shannon. Our team in Shannon are excited to be involved in hosting this event on-site and discussing perspectives on the Future of Mobility with the students.”
This year’s programme allows participants to experience, practice and reflect on a wide variety of innovative and creative activities. The students will adopt a Design Thinking (human-centric) approach to defining and tackling problems. They will explore and experience ways of problem seeing, brainstorming, generating new ideas and translating ideas into actions.
Dr. Maeve Liston, Director of Enterprise and Community Engagement at Mary Immaculate College, said: “The aim of the Empower Programme was to design an approach that moves beyond traditional science and business programmes, to an approach that involves the development of ‘mindsets’ that enable and empower students to approach problems, to experiment, and to meet the needs of those that will benefit from their solutions”.
Gillian Barry, Head of Innovation and Enterprise at Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) said, “Most startups fail because their innovations do not meet a customer and market need. We believe that the quality of the solution you generate is directly proportional to your ability to identify the problem you hope to solve. This is key to impactful innovation and is a core focus during the week.”
She added, “It is fantastic, each year, to see the students, who for the most part do not know each other beforehand, forming into teams and bonding throughout the week. Many of them plan to continue working on their ideas and use the skills and insights they have developed to further BT Young Scientist projects, for example. The week provides them with an opportunity to develop complex thinking skills. Their enquiring minds and ability to question the norm is always inspiring. We encourage students in the region to engage again this year for what is always a fun, inspirational week.”