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Electric atmosphere at first ever RoboCon competition <p>​</p><p>Students from the school of computing and engineering recently took part in the Colleges first ever RoboCon competition final which took place at the SPACE Campus. The talented students competed against each other for the honour of bragging rights and for their chance to win an Echo Dot and £30 worth of Amazon vouchers! </p><p>The live competition took place in front of family, friends, peers, parents and under the watchful eye of the judges. </p><p>The ROBOCON 2017 competition required the participants to compete in teams of two to design and build a bespoke robot to autonomously complete a maze and move to an arena to throw ping-pong balls into targets.</p><p>The robots had to race to complete the task within a set period of time, with the fastest and and those with the most balls in the catchers, being announced as the winner! HND electronic engineering students Jordyn Martin and Luke Robinson emerged as champions in the contest with their robot Fiesty Fred who stole the show. Each took home an Echo Dot. </p><p>The competition was a great example of the benefits of project based learning with collaborative input from numerous trades and disciplines across the college including joinery who designed and built the boards, production arts and music student's providing the entertainment and compere, and hospitality providing front of house service. Special thanks must also go to engineering intern Sam Flynn who designed the catchers.</p><p>Marks were awarded for overall quality of work produced, ability to work within the timeframes, efficient use of resources and the fastest robot to complete the circuit. </p><p>The standard of robots at the competition was excellent with many boasting innovative features such as 3D printed spoilers and air fed pneumatics design concepts.</p><p>The prize for Best Creative Design went to Joseph Armstrong and Daniel Rice from general engineering, who won the qualifying heat which took place earlier in the year. </p><p>Tutor Anthony Johnston said "The competition was great fun for the students and the standard of work produced was outstanding. We encourage students to participate in all competitions, which will enhance their skills and knowledge. The Inter Campus competition contributes to the students overall learning experience and improves their confidence, while providing them the opportunity to test their skills against their college peers.</p><p>"SERC is a fertile learning ground for innovative and dynamic students in the field of robotics and mechatronics. From conception of ideas to design and prototyping development, robot testing and final robot release the task was challenging, but gave the students the opportunity to work in teams and under pressure, to learn the skills they will need in the workplace." </p><p>Head of School Trevor Breadon said: "Competitions like this provide a unique stage for student-engineers to showcase their skills and expertise and motivates them to reach the highest standards in their careers." </p><p>SERC students are encouraged to get involved in competitions as it demonstrates to future employers the level, skill and commitment they have within their industry.  Past winners have successfully progressed into employment, because they have an edge over other students, having been involved in these types of competitions.  </p><p>The competition was kindly funded by the Erasmus+ programme.</p>
Travel and Tourism student lands Eurocamp work placement <p>​</p><p>20 year old Maria Dougherty from Crossgar has been offered a once in a lifetime work placement opportunity at the outdoor holiday centre Eurocamp in France for 10 weeks. </p><p>Former Assumption Grammar School student Maria applied for Eurocamp online before being invited for a skills assessment. The process was then concluded with a successful interview.</p><p>Tutor Mary Enright said: "This is an exciting time for Maria. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take part in a residential work placement overseas. As well as gaining a nationally recognised vocational qualification Maria will also get the opportunity to see the world and gain valuable work experience in the travel industry. Opportunities like this allow young people to demonstrate their skills and attitude, as well as help them develop their personal and customer service skills and giving them the first step in forging a career in travel."</p><p>Maria is looking forward to the Eurocamp experience. She said, "I can't wait to begin working at Eurocamp. The course has provided me with the knowledge and skills to help to secure this great opportunity." </p><p>Maria will gain hands-on experience of being a resort representative at the holiday resort. During her placement she will carry out various tasks including: welcoming customers, providing local information, housekeeping and taking part in planning and organising of activities.</p><p>Having left school after her AS levels, Maria's mum and dad encouraged her to enrol at SERC, with her friend recommending the travel and tourism course. Thanks to SERC Maria has received two offers from Ulster University to study her chosen subjects. </p><p>Maria continued, "The best thing about SERC is the small class sizes. I would encourage other school leavers to consider SERC as their first option. SERC provides an incredible opportunity of getting out of the classroom and into the real world."</p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students' the edge'. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><strong>www.serc.ac.uk</strong></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC. To apply for a course please visit <strong>apply.serc.ac.uk</strong> </p>
Hair raising display showcased at SERC inter-campus hairdressing competition <p> </p><p>South Eastern Regional College (SERC) hosted its annual intercampus hairdressing competition on Monday 8 May at the Lisburn campus.</p><p>Level 2 and Level 3 students from Bangor, Downpatrick and Lisburn Campuses participated in the contest which was aimed at testing and challenging the ability and skills of its students from across the College. The Level 2 competition was themed around 'day' wear, while Level 3's were set the theme of 'fantasy'. </p><p>During the competition the students were required to come up with a whole look for a model including, hair, make-up and clothing and footwear. Performing arts students generously helped with hair and make-up. The competition was designed to challenge the students thinking beyond just the hairstyle. They were also required to consider the individuals entire appearance, from clothes, to shoes, to make-up, aligning these components with their hairstyle. Prizes were presented for those in first, second and third place.</p><p><strong>Award winners included:</strong></p><ol><li>Claire Porter – winner level 1 competition </li><li>Courtney Smyth – second place level 2 competition year 1</li><li>Aleta Irbe – first place level 2 year 1</li><li>Voi Njo – Winer level 3 competition</li><li>Lauren Rainey second place level 3 competition </li></ol><p> </p><p>David Donnelly from Salon Services judged the competition along with fellow judges, Maria Stafford from Denman and make-up artist Carley Marley. Denman and Salon Services kindly sponsored the luxury prizes. </p><p>To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><strong>www.serc.ac.uk</strong></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC. Applications for courses starting in September are now open. To apply please visit apply.serc.ac.uk </p>
Students reveal a welcome touch <p>​</p><p>THEATRE fever hit Space Bangor when Open House Festival collaborated with a group of SERC tourism, hospitality and events students to create a pre-theatre hospitality event for London-based Merely Theatre Company.</p><p> </p><p>The students were tasked with planning and staging their own event and were given the opportunity to work in partnership with the Open House Festival. The event itself was a Cava and Canapés evening lasting an hour before production within the bar and recreation area on Space's second floor in the Atrium.</p><p> </p><p>Attendees were greeted with a complimentary glass of cava and a collection of canapés accompanied by the sound of local musician Amy Gamble who provided smooth jazz from the campus' own mini grand piano.</p>
Search begins for national automotive champion <p> </p><p>Three talented SERC motor vehicle apprentices, Gareth Rea, Glenn Palmer and Christie Boyle, will fly to the Volkswagen Group National Learning centre in Milton Keynes on 18 May for the National Qualifiers of the IMI Skill Auto Competition 2017, part of World Skills UK.</p><p>The talented trio will be assessed on six tasks, designed to reflect the knowledge of apprentices working towards a level 3 light vehicle vocational qualification.  </p><p> </p><p>Having successfully completed an online test and gaining above benchmark scores, the trio qualified to compete at the live National Qualifiers event where they will be accompanied by their tutor Alan Kerr.</p><p> </p><p>The IMI Skill Auto competitions set out to identify the most talented young apprentices working in the automotive sector. Run annually they are designed to raise standards, esteem and levels of expertise in technical skills across four streams of competition, Automotive Technology, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Refinishing and Heavy Vehicle Engineering. </p><p>From an initial entry of over 300, 84 individuals took part in the practical heats in the Spring with only 24, 6 from each skill area, being invited to the national finals and the possibility of becoming UK Champion.</p><p>The competition provides an opportunity for automotive apprentices to demonstrate the technical skills required to be a successful modern-day technician. Competitors are required to work on a selection of cars and components carrying out various tasks, which will test their skills and abilities.</p><p>SERC would like to congratulate the apprentices on getting this far and wish them well for the prestigious upcoming event where they will compete to progress through to the final on 16th-18th November at the Skills Show held at the NEC, Birmingham.</p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students<strong>' the edge'</strong>. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">www.serc.ac.uk</span></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC.</p><p> </p>
SERC share expertise with industry peers <p>​</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Wednesday 3 May, SERC hosted a peer mentoring conference which showcased how technology based learning can enhance teaching and learning and highlighted the work of the ILT pedagogy peer mentoring programme.</p><p>The full-day conference entitled '<em>Effective Continuous Professional Development Peer Mentoring; A Whole College Approach'</em>, was delivered to over 20 delegates from the City of Dublin Education and Training Board. The theme of the conference invited delegates to reflect on how student learning can be enhanced through a range of pedagogical approaches, project based learning and enterprise and entrepreneurship.</p><p>First, delegates were welcomed by SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb who highlighted how SERC are spearheading the use of technology in Further Education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Paula Philpott, Head of the SERC Learning Academy, delivered a presentation sharing the approach that SERC has adopted in building effective peer mentoring and gave a detailed insight into SERC's Learning Academy. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The conference provided delegates the opportunity to learn about the work of SERC's ILT pedagogy peer mentoring programme, and was an excellent opportunity to share knowledge, innovative learning, experience and best practice; aimed at benefitting current and future learners. </p><p>The conference featured a number of speeches followed by a series of workshops delivered by SERC ILT pedagogy mentors.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Delegates were encouraged to reflect on their pedagogical perspectives, philosophies and practice to enhance the quality of student teaching and learning. Delegates were also challenged to find out more about peer mentoring by attending a workshop entitled 'five ways to boost learner engagement using technology' which was hosted by SERC ILT Pedagogy Mentors.  </p>
College Horticulture team blossom at Garden Show and win Best Overall and Best Design <p>It was a smashing start to the weekend as garden designers from SERC were named 'Best Design' AND 'Best Overall' in the Team Garden Challenge competition at this year's Allianz Garden Show Ireland held in Antrim Castle Gardens. </p><p>The theme for the Team Garden Challenge celebrated one of Northern Ireland's most famous writers, CS Lewis, and teams were challenged to create "<strong>A Narnia Garden!</strong>"</p><p>The theme tasked garden designers to design and present a 3m by 3m garden and build their plot in one day, with a budget of only £500 – with the planning and designing of the garden taking many months preparation!  Teams were encouraged to re-cycle and re-use in creating their garden.</p><p>Gardens were judged by the Team Challenge Garden Judges who were looking for interpretation of theme, creativity, budgeting and good teamwork. </p><p>The design team, led by tutor Joanna Loane with help from the horticulture team, expressed their joy at securing the prestigious prizes exclaiming they felt "really proud of what they had achieved". The team also won Best in Show at the 2014 competition for their kitchen garden.</p><p>Exhausted but pleased with the finished result, Joanna said, "We had some really positive feedback. It was a brilliant hands-on experience especially at such a big event. It has been great to be involved in this project from start to finish. Seeing our design evolve into a real garden has been a great experience. To come away with two awards has put a fantastic finish on a very successful year. We were celebrating for two reasons, as not only did the garden win Best Design, but we also won 'Best Overall' title which means that we achieved full marks in every category."</p><p>The College would like to sincerely thank Woodstoc Bangor for their donation of timber, Mount Stewart National Trust and Billy McCone, Chairman of Irish Garden Plant Society for the loan of their plants to help with the garden display. </p><p>SERC's Holywood campus is holding an information and plant sale at their Old Holywood road campus on 24 May from 10am-2pm. To find out more about Horticulture courses visit <a href="/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">www.serc.ac.uk</span></a> or call the enrolment hotline on 0345 600 7555 or visit our Facebook page search SERC Horticulture.</p>
SERC welcome Spanish exchange students <p> </p><p>SERC was host to two Spanish students as part of an international placement programme funded by Erasmus+. </p><p>Beatriz Correa Sola and Marta Cayrols Cervera from FEGREPPA College in Valencia, had the unique opportunity to participate in classes with SERC's professional cookery students where they got the opportunity to work in the Colleges very own commercial restaurants and experience first-hand the Northern Ireland cuisine. </p><p>The duo also enjoyed a two-week work placement at Miel et Moi where they experienced life in a flagship kitchen and the production of a very varied menu. The duo also spent two weeks at Slice of Heaven Bakery in Newtownards preparing high quality bakery and patisserie goods.</p><p>SERC International Project Manager Elaine McKeown explains: "The aim of the exchange was to provide opportunities for the students to develop professional skills and English language proficiency, as well as increase the students <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understanding">understanding</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toleration">tolerance</a> of other <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture">cultures</a>." </p><p>Elaine went on to explain the programme further, "During the four weeks, students got the opportunity to experience amazing new insights, from learning a new culture, cuisine and language, to making new friends from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds, as well as sampling some of the courses offered by SERC."</p><p>Feedback from the employers was very positive with both stating that they were 'very impressed' with both the skills set of the students and their work ethic. </p><p>SERC developed the partnership with FEGREPPA to exchange students over the next two years through Erasmus+, the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport supported by the European Commission. This visit is just one in a series of work placement programmes, which will see SERC students completing work placements in Malta and Belgium. </p><p> </p><p>SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students<strong>' the edge'</strong>. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><strong>www.serc.ac.uk</strong></a> or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.</p>
SERC Student Eamon Ferris dishing out success on the Snooker table <p> </p><p>SERC hospitality student and snooker prodigy Eamon Ferris is travelling to China for the World under 21 Championship in July. </p><p>19 year old Eamon, who hails from Castlewellan, has been basking in recent snooker success, having begun his journey in the sport at the tender age of 11. He recently reached the last 32 at the U21 European championships in March in the exotic Nicosia, Cyprus. Prior to his European competition venture, he was crowned Northern Ireland U21 Champion in April 2016. </p><p>Reflecting on his recent achievements, Eamon said, "Snooker has been a huge part of my life and it's an honour to be able to have the opportunity to travel to China to compete on the world stage. My snooker game is improving and I am following my passion for hospitality through my course at SERC. I am looking forward to progressing from my course onto level 3 next year while continuing my snooker career." </p><p>Eamon, who works at the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, is currently studying the Level 2 Food and Beverage course at SERC. By progressing to the Level 3 course next year, he dreams of eventually operating his own restaurant in the future. </p><p>"I am very interested in developing my career in hospitality", said Eamon. "Initially, I wasn't sure if I would like the course, but that worry was swiftly extinguished through the friendliness and helpfulness of my experienced tutors at SERC. I love coming into the College.</p><p>He added, "I have even developed skills such as time management, which I feel, makes me more employable."</p><p>As part of his qualification, Eamon gets real life experience by working in the College's commercial restaurant, the McNeill Room. A typical day includes serving afternoon tea to customers and creating a concoction of cocktails on a Thursday night, which he thoroughly enjoys.</p><p>Applications for all full-time courses are now open and students can apply online at apply.serc.ac.uk. To find out how SERC can help you 'get the edge' call 0345 600 7555, visit <a href="/"><strong>www.serc.ac.uk</strong></a> or find us on Facebook, search: SERC. </p><p>​</p>
Job Club students get an unexpected guest <p> </p><p>​Job Club students enjoyed an unexpected visit from Principal Ken Webb who visited them during class to congratulate them after they received a penned personal letter from Sir David Attenborough.</p><p>During the visit the students explained their Plant Earth 2 project and Ken presented achievement certificates to each student. He was treated to a rehearsal of a promotional school play that the students are working on.</p><p>The students watched BBC One's "Plant Earth 2" as part of an assignment and decided to write to the renowned broadcaster and naturalist to explain how much they enjoyed watching the show.</p><p>The letter explained how much Sir David and his work had inspired them and how much they enjoyed watching it. As well as the letter, the students also enclosed drawings and paintings of their favourite animals. </p><p>Ken said, "The students are great ambassadors for the College. To be recognised by a household name such as Sir David Attenborough is momentous, and the students should be rightfully commended."</p><p>Tutor Laura Flynn was similarly proud of the students, saying "The students were so chuffed and happy for the rest of the afternoon. It was fantastic that they were made to feel so special and appreciated by Ken."</p>

​Upcoming Events​​​​​​

 

Holywood Open Day

  • Wednesday 24th May, 10am-2pm

Newcastle Open Day

  • Wednesday 31st May, 11am-7.30pm

Part-time Open Evening

  • Wednesday 7 June, 4-8pm
  • Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards

Ballynahinch Open Day

  • Friday 9th June, 10am-2pm 
  
  
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