Course Descriptions

Please see below courses for the Autumn 2018 term. Students will do one course for the six week period. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary. Courses are subject to change


Impariamo con i cartoni: learning Italian by captioning and re-voicing cartoons

This course is focused on the needs and interests of children who are learning the Italian language for the first time; children learn better when they have fun and enjoy what they do.

Learning a foreign language can be an enjoyable activity, hence the idea of creating a comfortable and friendly environment where they can make the most of what they learn in this course. During this course, children will have fun learning how to give voice to cartoon characters, audio-describe clips and images, comment on cartoon vignettes, describe stories and rearrange plots, and create subtitles translating from Italian to English. They will meet popular Italian cartoon characters and will learn how to caption and re-voice them, using the online platform ClipFlair (European Link-Link).Additionally, they will develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills while improving their pronunciation and communicative competence in Italian.

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Comic Books: Create Your Own Heroes


"Pictures that don't make sense are magic, they hold balls of light covered in millions of spells swirled into a cell." - Alexa Kitchen

Let your creative intelligence flow by creating a comic book idea, character, and storyline. This course will encourage you to be as imaginative as possible, in generating your comic book material. You will research, write, and create theme music for a super hero.

How are comic book heroes similar and different to characters in novels and myths? We'll find out by sharing and comparing our ideas. The course will look at different types of comic books and comic-book heroes. The class will focus on how authors and illustrators present characters to comic-book readers. By doing so, the class will be exposed to the different types of devices developed by comic-book authors. As a result, writing and reading creatively will result in a development of our imaginative faculties, writing techniques, and an understanding of literary form.

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The World of Cops and Robbers: Learning the Law


The aim of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the key historical steps in the development of Irish law and to give an insight into the operation of our contemporary legal and criminal justice systems.

It will provide students with a basic understanding of how our law affects and protects citizens and how it is enforced on those who do not comply with the law. The course will take you into the fascinating world of judges, police officers, lawyers and law makers: their roles and duties. You will also be given a chance to step into their position and have a personal experience of enforcing, applying or, if you prefer, experiencing consequences of disobeying the law in a playful environment.


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Engineering in modern transport, from car racing to cycling

Ever wonder how your family car works? Or how different it is to a formula 1 racing car?

This course explores the fundamentals of modern transport, with a focus on what the future holds. From innovative bicycles in the Paralympics to Ireland's most fuel efficient vehicle; you will understand what the design criteria of the future holds, with the opportunity to develop your own designs and ideas with a hands on approach

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A fun introduction to Computer Programming, The Internet, and Multimedia

A wide variety of topics will be covered, introducing students to core programming and design concepts.

After initial tuition in each lecture students will have the opportunity to combine their new technical skills with their own creativity in a hands-on computing laboratory environment. Topics covered will be: application development, website design, gaming, networks (how the internet works) and graphics. Students will become familiar with commercial software such as: Microsoft Visual Studio, Google Sketchup and Scratch. The content of the modules demonstrates a wide array of skills required by IT industry specialists and typically each student will discover their own particular preferences and develop creativity - limited only by their own imagination.

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Weird stuff our ancestors did

History is the study of the past. It tells stories of what people did and how they lived.

During this course, stories of invasions, wars, Christianity, famine and a divided island are mixed with tales of the Vikings, the Black Death, life in castles, the Titanic tragedy, music, mobiles and computers. A major emphasis will be placed on the key political and social controversies of Irish history.

Topics that will be covered include:

Students will both individually and as part of groups become familiar with original documents from the past and learn how to interpret these sources. They will discover major figures from Ireland's past and explore how key events transformed the island.

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Finding your Creative Voice: An Adventure into Creative Writing

Creativity forms the basis of all human achievement. Writing creatively helps us to unleash our imaginations and tap into our creative potential - it can lead us to create new stories to entertain and inspire, to create new ideas to change the world, or to create new objects that improve and enrich our lives.

During this six-week course, we will embark on a journey of creativity that will lead us to experiment with different styles of writing - with narrative, verse, screen-writing and creative non-fiction - so that we can discover and strengthen the unique creative voice that lies within each of us. We'll seek inspiration from works of written literature, as well as from dramatic performances of plays and poetry. We'll hear guidance from writers and other creative professionals and apply their ideas and sparks of inspiration to our own writing. We'll explore the different ways that we might like our writing to manifest in the world - do we want to create performance, film, spectacle, special events or published books, journals or an online blog? Through lively class discussion, interactive activities, and with individual guidance, we'll receive new sources of inspiration and the technical and creative tools to proceed confidently with our own projects. We'll each come away from the course with a body of work that we can use for future reference and inspiration. The adventure begins here!


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What Makes a Play a Play?

This course offers a brief but exciting exploration of the basic elements of theatre: voice, movement, and the use of space and design.

We will explore different modes of expression and devising including the way we gesture, move, and create different new worlds with props, costumes and set. Here at NUI Galway, we believe that theatres are curious and exciting places, where a box can become a ship or a taxi, where a piece of cloth can become an evil spirit or the sea. On stage anything is possible if we believe it to be, and at the centre of all of this, is our creativity and imagination. The course will use all kinds of games and activities to explore how to make a play. This course aims to give the students an opportunity to discover and develop performance skills, such as voice work, group work, improvisation, and devising, as well as enhancing their understanding and appreciation of theatre. The course will finish with a short performance of the students' own creation.

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What's living on your phone? The secret world of microorganisms

Microorganisms are everywhere. You just can't see them. You can find them on your desk, your phone, your hands and even inside your body.

Learn about the secret world of microorganisms through experiments and other fun activities.



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Exploring Electronics : Learn how to build circuits and robots

Ever wonder how gadgets work? How robots are made and programmed?

In this course you'll learn how electronic circuits work and how to program them using the Arduino platform. You'll learn the basics of programming and how to make use of sensors, motors and LEDs to create your own fantastic projects and bring your ideas to life.

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Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Robots are building cars; vacuum cleaning rooms; exploring space, deep seas and other worlds; performing search and rescue missions; assisting in surgeries; providing elderly care; and much much more!

But how do they do all these tasks ? What makes robots smart? In this course you will learn all the ingredients that make a robot and learn how to make it smart.

The course outline is:

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The Secret Life of Engineers

What is an Engineer? Take this course to find out!

This fun and interactive course with hands on learning gives an excellent introduction and overview of all things engineering. Each week will cover a different type of engineering, including: electronic, civil, mechanical, biomedical, software and aeronautical. During the course we will make everything from electronic circuits and mini catapults to bridges and even paper airplanes. The course will give a fun look at what it is like to be an Engineer and the different areas of engineering you can study.


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CSI- How science solves crime scenes

Interested in becoming a detective, working in forensics or a crime scene investigator (CSI)?

Over this 6 week course you will get a find out how science is used to solve crime cases. You will become a CSI expert and solve your own cases. Every week you will be presented with a new case and use your CSI skills to use science to solve your cases. Classes will involve fingerprinting, how chemistry is used to identify different substances and the use of algebra to identify the height of a suspect. At the end, you will work as a team to put all the clues of a crime scene together and solve the big mystery case from the knowledge you gained over the last few weeks.

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Wonderful Colourful Chemistry

This 6-week interactive course introduces participants to the fundamentals of Chemistry in a colourful way.

Participants should be prepared to become mad scientists with lots of fun experiments incorporated throughout the course (using items which can be found in the kitchen). On the final week of the course participants will get to experience a day in the life of a research chemist with a tour of NUI Galway's Chemistry labs. In the lab a fluorescent experiment will be demonstrated and students will get the chance make Elephant toothpaste!

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From users to developers: create your own App


In this course we will prove to you that programming can be much easier than you thought.

During this 6 week course we will develop fun Android apps each day, starting from day 1! For this, we will be using the MIT App Inventor, which is an intuitive and visual programming environment that allows anyone (especially children) to build fully functional Apps for smartphones and tablets without having to learn complicated programming languages. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop software by themselves, but most importantly, they will be able to think as developers, which is an essential skill for the future.

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Biolegos: Engineering with the building blocks of life

DNA, proteins, cells, organs, these are the building blocks of life and this course aims to introduce you to the "playground" of biotechnology and biomedical engineering.


In this course you will learn about the basics of life and biology, and how we can design and engineer life for the betterment of mankind. Tinkering with DNA for curing hereditary diseases, mending broken hearts with stem cells, repairing broken bones with biomaterials and prostheses, printing new organs for transplantation, these are just examples of the topics that you will learn during this course. Principles of biology, chemistry and physics, mixed with engineering and biotechnology are taught in order to introduce you to concepts of regenerative medicine, molecular biotechnology, biomedical and biological engineering and synthetic biology, all the while following a fun and hands-on approach!

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Herbology and Potions

In our ‘Herbology and Potions' classes, students will learn the basics of plant morphology, plant biochemistry and botanical nomenclature (plant names).

We will explore the internal plant structure with the help of microscopes. In our classes, we will study the mysterious world of herbs, as well as their nature and safe applicability, thus broadening the realm of medicine and healthcare. The class provides a rare opportunity for students to make their own healing potions and special remedies. Class members will learn about the most useful plants growing in woodland, grassland, riverside and even urban areas. Funny recipes, interesting projects, delightful stories, colourful pictures, breathtaking science - that is what ‘Herbology and Potions' lessons are all about!

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Discovering a piece of Raspberry Pi(e)

Exploring Programming Concepts and Interacting with the Environment

Here is a fun way of discovering electronics and programming in a series of entertaining projects. The focus of this course will be placed on Python programming using the Raspberry Pi - a credit-card sized computer made for teaching purposes. Through a series of projects you will learn to take still images with the PiCamera and stitching them together to make videos, reading values from various sensors and using the Minecraft API. It's a piece of Pi(e)!

Aims of the course


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