Over the past two years, 3rd year electrical & electronic engineering students from the programmes TU821 and TU716 in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering have been embedded in a community-based learning project to develop learning resources to ageing in place.
TU Dublin team members Michael Core, Paula Kelly, Charlie Pritchard, Mariana Rochas, John McGrory and Svetlana Rudenko Dunne, have worked with groups of engineering student interns on topics relating to smart healthy age-friendly environments (SHAFE). The goal of the intern initiative was to support the role of TU Dublin in the ERASMUS+ funded Hands-on SHAFE project.
The trans-national Hands-on SHAFE project team is developing training materials for smart healthy age-friendly environments facilitators - volunteers and entrepreneurs who help to encourage and foster independent living and ageing in place. AFEDEMY leads the project from the Netherlands and, in addition to TU Dublin, includes partners from Poland, Germany, Portugal and France.
In 2020, the first cohort of TU Dublin engineering interns worked on draft content prototypes for the Hands-on SHAFE SMART content. In addition, they developed learning materials to facilitate older adults in living independently through the facilitation of SMART technology solutions, to foster increased confidence in phone use, and to promote the use of SMART domestic appliances among older adults. The second cohort of engineering interns in semester II of 2021 focused on contributing learning materials for two of the SMART modules, "Wearables" and "Maps, Calendars and Timetable Apps". All of the tutoring and group work was carried out online.
The engineering interns contributed valuable ideas and content for the work and gained real-life experience of group project work. The project work also enabled the interns to get a unique first-hand view of issues to do with age-friendly design and enabled SHAFE considerations to be passed to the Irish engineering community.
The Hands-on SHAFE project team are due to deliver the first 50% of the online SHAFE learning content by the end of September 2021 before moving on to the second phase of the work.