This February saw Nimbus host three, brilliant, students for their transition year work placement. Two of these students had attended the I-Wish conference in February, where we held a competition to win a week’s work experience here in Nimbus.
Aidin Lynch and Orla Coffey were asked to write “In 200 words or less, describe how you would use smart technology to make life better for people, society or the planet”. Aidin took the opportunity to highlight how mental health services could be improved using behavioral technology whilst Orla focused on the benefits of developing Artificial Intelligence.
During the week of work experience, the students had the opportunity to tour Nimbus and see what we do as well as working closely with some of our researchers on innovative projects. One such project was an EU Horizon 2020 research programme -“UMI –Sci-Ed”. The programme is designed to promote interest and understanding in computing, mobile computing and the internet of things, amongst primary and secondary school students. Our transition year students not only took part in the programmes coding lessons but also worked on the hardware and were able to offer genuine insights, on user experience, to our developers.
Researchers, Alan and Susan introduced the students to their research activities around smart cities, energy management and how these research projects can influence our everyday lives and impact society. For the rest of the time the girls got hands on experience in how to build their own Internet of Things applications, this included building electronic circuits, using sensors and writing some software to interact with the environment around them. A particular favourite was creating a game to test your reaction speed!
Then they spent time Dr.Bernd Ludwig Wenning learning about the use of sensor networks and wireless communication technologies and how they can be used to control and manage large lighting systems.
In order to vary the experience from department to department, the students were given a day to work alongside our marketing team. This involved learning how to identify and analyse market research and why that’s beneficial to any campaign. The students focused on the website, identifying trends on social media and creating brand identity. They were asked to provide their own insights on how the brand can be improved and compile this into a small marketing report.
Whilst they were with us, the students managed to attend, conferences, talks and career fairs that helped them to grasp what technology has to offer but also how to maximise their own potential careers in STEM.
In an era where women’s interest in STEM is vital, it was great to see the students take to it so easily and even offer their own insights into how to improve systems for the future.