Outreach

The TG Group regularly takes part in outreach activities.

Smart Materials: Can we make a chemical computer?

smartmaterials

The presentation given to students as part of the School of Chemisty’s TY programme (27th February 2017) Click the image to download the presentation.

This interactive presentation, based on research by group members Samuel Bradberry and Dr Joseph Byrne, takes students on a journey from the beginnings of logic to a demonstration of a real-life chemical computer.

Sam and Joe developed the demonstration for the 200th birthday of the renowned George Boole, as part of Discover Research Dublin 2015. Members of the public learned about logic gates in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute with colour-changing Lanthanide gels, alongside artwork illustrating the life of George Boole by Irish artist Sophie Longwill. (Follow Sophie on Twitter!)

Since then, it has been adapted and presented for the last two years to students as part of the School of Chemisty’s annual TY programme. Download a sample presentation here.

⬇️️ Download: Smart Materials 2017 (PowerPoint presentation, 17 MB)
⬇️️ Download: George Boole and Logic Gates (PDF, 2 MB)
⬇️️ Download: Lanthanides and Soft Materials (PDF, 15 MB)
⬇️️ Download: Molecular Logic Gates (PDF, 15 MB)


Niamh Murphy in Nature article on “Teen spirit in the lab”

Niamh Murphy in the lab with PhD student Dermot Gillen

Future chemist Niamh Murphy, a part-time student in the group, was recently featured in the journal Nature, talking about her experiences working with the TG Group while at school and preparing for university.

Niamh first joined the group for a week of work experience in 2015 and has been returning during the 2017-2018 part-time, working with PhD student Dermot Gillen. Currently, Niamh is working on interesting Amonafide derivatives.

 

The article by Chris Woolston, in the Nature Careers section describes:

Nature - Teen spirit in the lab“The Gunnlaugsson lab made an impression on Niamh Murphy, who was 15 years old when she spent a week working there in November 2015. “It was like walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” Murphy says. “Everything was so new to me.” Murphy, who just turned 18, parlayed that week-long introduction into a 7-month stint as a lab assistant. She’ll finish that position in May, before starting studies in chemistry at the Dublin Institute of Technology. “I still feel like a puppy running around with a lot of older dogs,” she says. “

To me, column chromatography is so cool. But the postdocs do it every day.” […]  Murphy feels lucky to be in a lab where she can contribute to the research itself. Some teens she’s talked to, she says, have no chance to run equipment or perform other such tasks. She says that students should talk to lab alumni to determine whether the principal investigator will make teaching them a priority. “If you can find someone who is really invested in young people, like Thorri, you’ll be on your way,” she says.”

Also in the article, Thorri voiced his opinion on the benefits of welcoming young students into the lab, the benefits to them and to the wider public:

“We get quite a few requests,” he says. “We take them in for three or four weeks and let them do some experiments. They can see that scientists are not portrayed correctly on television most of the time. There’s a lot going on.” […] Gunnlaugsson says that he never expects adolescents to make immediate contributions to his lab, but he adds that his government grants over the years have imbued him with a sense of duty. “That’s money from the public, so we’re obliged to engage with the public,” he says. “We have to let them know what we’re doing.” Opening the doors to adolescents is an important part of that outreach effort, he says”

The group regularly hosts young students in the lab, as well as contributing to outreach of our own research and programmes run centrally in the School of Chemistry through the participation of a number of group members, both PhD and Post-doctoral researchers.

Well done Niamh for sharing your experience with other students, so that they might also be inspired to find a placement, and with academics world-wide, so that they might consider providing the same opportunities to others!

The full article is available here, and is part of a special issue on Adolescence.

 

More Outreach News:

  1. Sam, Anna and Dermot teach TY students about molecular logic February 27, 2017 - As part of the School of Chemisty’s annual Transition Year (TY) programme, Sam, Anna and Dermot gave an interactive demonstration on molecular logic to a group of sixty TY students. This is the second year in a row that the group has presented on smart materials and chemical computation, in an informative lecture that covers […]
  2. Dermot becomes a SFI Smart Futures Ambassador October 28, 2016 - Dermot attended the SFI Smart Futures ambassador training this week at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) head office in Dublin. As part of Smart Futures, Dermot will be teaching secondary school students about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, or STEM. Smart Futures is coordinated by SFI in partnership with a variety of other […]
  3. TG Group bid farewell to summer project undergraduate student Aisling Ryan July 30, 2016 - Aisling completed her two month summer project within the Gunnlaugsson group which she started on 6th of June and finished on 29th of July 2016. She has been an excellent addition to the group and has been working on the synthesis of tripodal terpyridine-based ligands for the formation of supramolecular polymers and gels with Sachi […]
  4. Dermot teaches Leaving Certificate students spectroscopy with the RSC April 28, 2016 - Over the last few months, TG group member Dermot Gillen has been working with Dr John O’Donoghue – Trinity’s RSC Education Coordinator – to bring applied chemistry to secondary schools. As part of the RSC’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme, Dermot has been helping Leaving Certificate students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instruments that are used […]
  5. TG Group host annual School of Chemistry Transition Year Programme March 4, 2016 - Between the 29th February and 4th of March, the TG group facilitated the Transistion Year (TY) outreach programme in Trinity. Each year the School of Chemistry invites TY high school students to visit the school to learn about the scientific research conducted in our laboratories. On the Monday and Tuesday of the week long programme, one […]
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