The Education Authority’s AmmA Centre has launched its annual summer series of creative workshops for young people from Armagh and the surrounding area. The AmmA Centre is a creative learning facility which provides opportunities for individuals and groups from schools, the youth sector and the community to learn new skills. A wide range of courses are on offer including digital video editing and camera techniques, digital storytelling, animation, multi-media design and music composition and sound recording.
As part of this year’s summer programme, a group of ten children recently participated in a project to create a realistic scaled replica of the new Southern Regional College (SRC) building using Minecraft. Mentored by the AmmA Centre’s skilled team, students worked in groups from 2D architectural plans and 3D models to build their Minecraft SRC replica from foundation to completion.
The project was delivered in collaboration with the SRC and included a visit to the construction site, where participants were briefed on the construction process by a team of engineers and construction managers. Peter Monaghan, BIM Change Manager for the Southern Regional College, led a talk on the importance of digital modelling within construction and discussed the many areas in which the construction industry is becoming increasingly digitalised.
EA’s Daniel O’Reilly, Training Coordinator at AmmA said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with the SRC on this fantastic project. It has been many months in planning and it is a great example of how partnering with other organisations can positively impact our community.
“The children are able to work from the actual SRC Armagh Campus floor plans which the contractor, Felix O’Hare & Co. Ltd. are also working from. The opportunity to visit the building site during its construction phase made this even more realistic for the young people. This is an excellent example of how a real construction project can be used to strengthen the numeracy and STEM skills of our local school children using the Minecraft software package.”
Peter Monaghan, SRC BIM Change Manager added:
“We are delighted to be working with the AmmA Centre to showcase the new SRC Armagh campus and use this project to teach our local school children about the latest technologies used in a locally based construction project.
“This summer camp highlighted the steps involved within the construction process from the design phase right through to the building’s completion.
“I have no doubt that summer camps like these have a tremendous role to play in shaping the engineers and architects of the future.”
The new, purpose-built education campus in Armagh will comprise 14,000 sq. metres of specialist accommodation across several curriculum areas and has been carefully designed to facilitate a major uplift in the provision of professional and technical education and training. Located on the existing Lonsdale Road site, it will also specialise in the provision of innovation hubs through which students will engage with business and industry in real world industrial projects and challenges.
Felix O’Hare and Co. Limited, the appointed contractor, is spearheading the construction project. Around 200 jobs are being created within the construction phase of the project which also includes 25 apprenticeship opportunities.
The AmmA Centre have been involved in numerous STEM projects involving Minecraft and within the last year; their “Armagh 2.0” project was highly commended in the Heritage Angels Awards (Ulster Architectural Heritage Society / Lloyd Weber Foundation).