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> Sorcha Nic Aodha
The exciting five-day ‘Weatherbots Inventor Workshop’, aimed at young people between the ages of 14 to 19 with a big imagination and a love of experimenting, will look for ways to make it easier – fun even – to be outdoors, no matter what the weather.
Taking place from 13 to 17 August, 10am to 4pm daily in the O’Donoghue Centre, NUI Galway, the workshop will be supported by a team of artists and engineers, who, together with the team of young inventors, will design Weatherbots. Weatherbots are fantastical microgenerators that use renewable energy to power useful services, to make it easier to be out and active in all weathers.
Over five days, participants will develop ideas from concepts through to detailed designs. As a team, they will learn about renewable energy generation from wind, water, human and other sources, and brainstorm what services could be powered to support outdoor activity. At the end of the week, the team will hand over the completed Weatherbot design for fabrication, and will meet up again in September for its installation and launch.
“Turning our bad weather to good use, Báisteach Go Deo! | Hope It Rains wants to change our relationship with Galway’s weather, so that, by 2020, Galway will be the place to come to because it rains and blows! We aim to make Galway’s people and places more weather and climate resilient. We want to make our weather a source of creativity and communality, to get Galwegians out in it, enjoying it, loving it – no matter what the forecast,” says Ríonach Ní Néill, Artistic Director, Báisteach Go Deo! | Hope It Rains.
The Weatherbots design team includes artists Dr Ríonach Ní Néill, Tony Fegan, Gavin Morgan, Andrew Siddall, engineers Dr James Lee, and Dr Maeve Duffy, along with students from NUI Galway’s Engineering Dept.
Previous experience of design and drawing are not essential to take part in the workshop, but a willingness to use your imagination, learn, work in a team, have fun and take risks are. There are only 25 places available, and places are free of charge, but must be booked in advance. Register your interest online here with your name, age (14 to 19 year olds), address and contact number, and a few lines about why you’d like to join the challenge and the team will be in touch with you. Design or software skills are not needed, but if you do have any, the team would be interested to know. For under 18s, a permission slip will be sent out to be signed by a parent/guardian.
Let’s make Galway weather-proof!
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> Jo Lavelle