Researchers: Dr Tena Patten and Cróna O’Donoghue, Lecturers, Department of Design of Design and Creative Media
Funding: €100,000 Higher Education Authority
This engaging and inspiring programme was devised by O’Donoghue and Patten in response to a funding call by the Higher Education Authority, which in turn stemmed from the National Skills Strategy. The aim of the programme is to develop creative confidence, entrepreneurial thinking, and leadership skills in secondary school students.
Each year ATU Donegal host 100 transition year students from 6 schools across the county and guides them through a specially developed design thinking/creative process called the UNIQUE Creative Process and a custom workbook. The students are introduced to a different brief each year and guest speakers and activities are selected to encourage the students to envision the challenge from many different perspectives. The Academy is held across the academic year and culminates in a showcase and prizegiving ceremony on the ATU Letterkenny campus.
The intention is to extend this highly successful programme across the full ATU catchment area in future years.