Polymer Study Tour

Dates: 18th October, 2024 - 19th October, 2024 (2 days)

Duration: 2 Days

Location: 7 Centre Court, Blyry Business and Commercial Park, Athlone, Co. Westmeath N37 RT29

Accreditation: Certificate of Attendance

Full Fee: Free

Programme overview

The Polymer Study Tour is a FREE, two-day, residential course for Technology and Engineering Teachers designed to enhance subject knowledge relating to polymers, provide ideas for practical teaching and give an insight into the vibrant polymer industry in Ireland.


The programme will give you first hand experience of the polymer industry in action. It is a careful blend of lectures, practical sessions using readily available resources to demonstrate key polymer-related concepts, industry tours, and discussion opportunities based on detailed information sent out beforehand. We have liaised closely with Technology and Engineering teachers when devising the programme so that it links closely with the polymer topics in the post-primary curriculum.


Why Attend?

The aim of this programme is to really open your eyes to the world of polymers and plastics and support you to include it in your teaching.  The Irish polymer industry plays a vitally important role in almost every area of our lives from life saving medical devices, to food packaging, through to the next generation air transport solutions and beyond.


The sector is made up of over 230 highly innovative companies across Ireland employing over 7,000 people. There are huge job opportunities for new graduates in a very diverse environment working across high tech industries like ICT, MedTech, automotive, aerospace and more. We need more great young engineering talent to enter the sector and be part of future innovation across design, AI, sustainability and much more.


Download the brochure here Polymer Study Tour 2024

  • Who should attend the Polymer Study Tour?

The programme is open to practicing and trainee teachers from the Republic of Ireland. On the evening of Day 1 complimentary dinner and accommodation is provided in a local hotel, to provide the ideal opportunity to network with other like-minded teachers from across the country. We hope that you will make long lasting connections with your colleagues and the invited speakers.

  • What will the course cover?

The full agenda is available to download here – Agenda.

  • Who will deliver the sessions?

The sessions are all delivered by experts from industry and academia and it will include a crucial final session, led by a practicing teacher, looking at how you can use the content from the course in your classroom teaching.

  • What are the costs involved?

Through generous industry sponsorship, this course is free to you. All costs including fees, accommodation and all meals will be provided.

  • Where will the course take place?

Both days of the course will be based at the First Polymer Training Centre in Athlone with overnight accommodation provided in a nearby hotel. There will also be tours to local polymer companies over the 2 days. Transport will be provided to the local polymer companies and also to the hotel.

  • What are the travel arrangements? 

The First Polymer Training Centre is very centrally located and easy accessible. Free parking is available at the Centre. Transport will also be arranged for any off-site visits to companies and TUS, Athlone.

Please get in touch directly, if you are travelling by public transport and we will provide additional information and support.

  • What do I need to bring?

The first and possibly most important things are a sense of humour and curiosity!  We want you to have a good time on the course so please come with an open mind and be prepared to get involved.  The opportunity to meet and chat with fellow teachers is often cited as one of the most valuable aspects of the course when run previously. With regards to your attire we want you to be comfy but sensible!  The presentations will be in a conference/lecture room but we will also be doing practical work . We recommend enclosed sensible shoes on both days and safety shoes are useful if you have them.  Any safety clothing such as high-vis jackets, spectacles or overshoes will be provided when they are needed.

  • Will we get resources to take away?

The short answer to this is yes!  We will send out some electronic literature for you to read through and digest prior to the course.  As we only have two days we didn’t want to waste time forcing you to endure death by Power Point!  We thought it would be more useful to have discussion sessions on the materials and then get on with some practical work. You will receive a delegate pack during the course and be emailed all of the presentations, lesson plans and instructions for easy to teach practicals after the course.

  • Where’s the catch? How do you manage to make this course available to teachers for free?

The Polymer Study Tours have been running since 1987 in the UK and over the years, the industry has seen first-hand the importance of supporting teachers in educating their employees of the future.  Ireland is now keen to emulate the success of the tours. We want you to go away having had an amazing time finding out about plastics so that you can return to your classroom and pass on your knowledge to the young people that you teach.

The course costs around €800 per delegate to put on but we are lucky that this is entirely funded through sponsorship from the Worshipful Company of Horners’, First Polymer Training Skillnet, Atim Cluster, Technical University of the Shannon, Athlone as well as the guidance of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining in the UK.

  • Who supports the Polymer Study Tour?

Organising and running the Polymer Study Tour is a great team effort! It is supported by:

Catherine Collins, First Polymer Training Skillnet

Rónán Dunbar, Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone

Caitríona Mordan, Atim Cluster

Diane Aston, The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining UK (who we would like to thanks especially for her support)

Worshipful Company of Horners who provide generous sponsorship for this programme


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