Irish Water and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) joined forces today to celebrate Science Week, co-hosting a virtual event for second and third level students. The water-themed event was attended by students from CIT’s Environmental Science Programme, as well as students from secondary schools across the county. The event was centred around CIT’s water quality lab, which is now available for virtual tours and is an integral part of CIT’s Environmental Science Programme.

Irish Water scientists spoke to students about their career paths, how studying science opened doors for them and what their current roles involve. CIT staff gave a virtual tour of their water quality lab, showing the different types of instrumentation they use for testing water, including a fish tank, which helps them measure water quality.

Aisling Buckley, Irish Water Regional Communications team commented:

Today’s event was all about Science and celebrating how it is part of our everyday lives. In Irish Water, our scientists ensure that water is safe to drink, and wastewater does not negatively impact on our environment. Everything we do is founded in science. We are delighted to collaborate with CIT on this event for Science Week and look forward to working with the college again in the future.

We showed our ‘Story of Water’ documentary to the students today. It gives a great insight into the size and scale of the challenges involved in improving water services in Ireland. It is available to view on our website, and is certainly worth a look, especially for anyone considering a career in Science.

Robert Kennedy, Regional Water and Wastewater Process Optimisation Lead with Irish Water said:

Irish Water scientists really enjoy getting involved and engaging with communities across the country during Science Week. A Science qualification can take you anywhere, both career wise and geographically. It opens doors to wonderful opportunities, exciting projects and a very promising career path to those who choose to study it. We hope that by speaking to students today, we have inspired those who are considering a career in science to go for it, as there are lots of wonderful opportunities.

During today’s event, Stephen Collins, Senior Technical Officer at the Department of Physical Sciences, demonstrated how water quality monitoring is key to the water treatment process by showing some of the advanced instrumentation at CIT’s Water Quality lab. Stephen outlined how students on CIT’s Environmental Science programme learn how use this equipment to monitor parameters such as pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity levels, all of which are key parameters in water quality analysis. Stephen emphasised the importance of this equipment in ensuring that we have clean drinking water and he also demonstrated how the department use this instrumentation to monitor the quality of a tank in their lab containing fish from east Africa.

Donagh O’Mahony, Head of Department of Physical Sciences, said:

At CIT we have many science courses on offer. We were delighted to celebrate Science Week with Irish Water this year. As a third level institution, it is really important to us that more students consider science as a career and realise the opportunities it offers. We are very proud of our water quality lab, which is now available for online virtual tours and gives a good insight into studying our Environmental Science Programme here at CIT. We were delighted to show it off to second level students today and hopefully we have inspired some of them to study science at third level in the years ahead.

Notes:Science Week is an annual week-long event supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) in Ireland each November, celebrating science in peoples’ everyday lives. It is a collaboration of events involving industry, colleges, schools, libraries, teachers, researchers and students throughout Ireland.

The core theme for Science Week 2020 is ‘Science Week – Choosing our Future’ focusing on how science can improve our lives in the future, and in the present. This will explore how science can help us to make positive choices that will impact the environment, our health, and our quality of life. Changes based in scientific evidence that we make today can hugely improve our future life, but also right now. The subject matter is broad and will incorporate topics such as the future of work, the future of health and wellbeing and how we will all live in a world where we have had to mitigate and adapt to the challenges facing society.

A virtual tour of the Water Laboratory facilities, which form part of CIT’s Environmental Science programme is available online at the following link:

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