2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Teacher Primary Schools Science Project
Project in partnership with the Institute of Education, DCU, Drumcondra and The Irish American Partnership (IAP)
In October 2016, a number of Primary schools came together in the Centre for a short information evening on the proposed Project for 2016-17. This was the first meeting of the school year for teachers involved in the Project. Teachers discussed the Project thus far, reflecting on the previous year and shared ideas with each other regarding certain curriculum areas. Following on from an electricity workshop teachers had attended the previous year, teachers looked at designing and making simple electric robots - Drawbots. This proved to be a hugely popular STEAM project with participating teachers. The teachers left with a robot kit to take back and implement in the classroom. Project facilitator, Michelle Maher, provided support for building robots in the classroom, both through school visits and email support to schools. The class teacher and Michelle discussed some learning outcomes arising from this activity; critical thinking and problem solving skills were particularly challenged.
The second workshop of the year took place in November 2016. Michelle continued with the STEAM theme with a focus on electrical circuits. On this occasion, the participating teachers looked at designing and making light up Christmas cards with LEDs and a paper circuit using copper tape. The schools left with a kit to implement this in the classroom.
The third workshop took place in March 2017 focusing on electromagnetism. Simple electromagnets were built by passing a current through copper coil. Some everyday applications of electromagnets were explored, from speakers to wind turbines. This workshop also explored building simple homopolar magnets. Again, Michelle provided support to participating schools through school visits and email support.
The final workshop reviewed the year's work, discussed the difficulties encountered and how to overcome them in the future. Energy and forces and how to implement in the Junior classes was explored.
The first workshop of the year examined living things; more specifically life under the microscope. Teachers were supplied with a digital USB microscope for use in the classroom. The image appears on the Interactive Whiteboard, also with a picture capture function so that images can be saved for later use. Teachers looked at a variety of different leaves and fibres. It was particularly interesting to see the difference between living and non-living things under the microscope.
Students in Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Classes in Scoil Chiaráin Naofa, Ballyragget using the digital USB microsope.