A giant mural will be painted on St. Nicholas’ Parochial School in Galway city as part of a series of workshops on marine life taking place at the school.
The ‘Tiny Sea Life, Big Cures’ project is being delivered by CÚRAM – the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUIG and Galway Atlantaquaria along with teaching artist Alison Mac Cormaic.
The workshops aims to give pupils a better understanding of the role of marine life in human health.
Inspired by the scientific material investigated from the aquarium and CÚRAM, artist Alison Mac Cormaic will teach the students how to imagine, design and create models for devices that may aid human health and recovery.
In addition, guest Lecturer Enda O’Dowd will introduce the Medical Device Design course that he coordinates in the National College of Art and Design Dublin (NCAD).
“We designed the workshops to encourage maximum creative input from the 5th and 6th class students at St. Nicholas’ Parochial School,” explained teaching artist Alison Mac Cormaic.
“In the art section of the workshops, they draw for design, using their imaginations to think like medical device designers and develop different ideas.
“Their drawing and design skills are used to imagine brand new products that have never been designed before – who knows where all this creativity might lead!”
Alison will create a permanent mural on the outer school wall incorporating students’ designs.
Through this cross-curricular co-creation process, students will become aware of their locality and its link to scientific achievements, conservation, and the role of the artist and scientist in our community.
Project collaborator Dr Nóirín Burke from Galway Atlantaquaria, said that the research and innovation happening in CÚRAM is truly fascinating.
“Working with everyone in this programme, exploring ways in which our health can benefit from the ocean, and considering our role in the ocean’s future has been a pleasure.
“This is also of particular interest now as we begin the UNESCO Decade of the Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
“We are also super excited about seeing the student’s final art piece, which will help share this project with the wider community, through families and the public.”
Ms Deirdre Grace, 5th and 6th class teacher at St. Nicholas’ Parochial School added that this project has been a real learning experience for the students.
“They are highly engaged and motivated to learn more about the topics, and they are thoroughly enjoying the experience,” she said.