The science behind taking the ‘perfect penalty’ tackled by students at Trinity’s Scifest

The students at the Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities displayed projects at the event

The science behind taking the perfect penalty, walking for your health and baking were among the topics tackled by the latest group of students Trinity’s Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities for its annual Scifest exhibition which opened at the university on Thursday.

The group of 10, who are on course to graduate from the centre’s certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusiveness Applied Practice, displayed their projects at the event which was attended by graduates, academics and course partners.

The students are each assigned mentors who are volunteers from pharma and healthcare multinational Abbott, which has been supporting the project for eight years.

“Very few of these young people would have studied science in school so it is really wonderful to see them work on their projects then get to the stage where they can talk about them in front of an audience at the launch,” says Marie Devitt, the centre’s pathways coordinator.

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“The confidence they develop through the whole exercise is incredible, it’s a joy to see and life-changing for some of the students. The whole Scifest project started very small but it has grown into a big event for the group now because of the enthusiasm of the students and the support they receive along the way.”

The centre has more than 50 commercial partners including Ryanair, Arthur Cox and Smurfit Kappa and the students will now take up paid internships with some before graduating from the course early next year.

“The idea is to work with the students and the firms to find the ideal roles for the students. Some are interested in HR or admin but they’re only at the very start of trying things out and the idea is work together until a role they are perfectly suited for,” she says.

Just over 50 students have graduated from the course in recent years and almost half being made permanent by the companies they subsequently did internships with.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times