Winning School Profiles.
St. Mary’s Central N.S. Killenaule, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
We considered it a great way to garner more knowledge about Science. DPSM provided so much needed Experiments and Explanations. They carefully structured the experiments and linked them to Science Curriculum. We were doing Science without feeling too overwhelmed. Then as our confidence grew it was marvellous to see AoSME pushing out the boundaries a bit more. We too consider Science and Maths a hugely important area of the Curriculum and we so wanted to give our pupils the best possible chance to experiment and investigate and see how both disciplines are inter-related. We feel this Programme is so worthwhile. We also availed of the opportunity of embracing all the STEPS Engineering Projects on offer over the years. What a pity they didn’t continue. Whilst they were challenging they were a great way to get children designing, experimenting and creating.
Initially we confined ourselves to the experiments outlined in DPSM Booklet. However, as we got more experience we ‘spread our wings’. Now I think it’s fair to say we encourage the children to be Investigators. We ask them to design 'Fair Tests'.
When we started out I guess we were interested in Experiments such as Diving Drops and Sinking Feelings etc. I feel as children get older they can still benefit from engaging in these experiments as their body of knowledge has increased they should have a better understanding of why things behave in a particular manner. I think the experiments on Motors and Vehicles are always challenging as our students really enjoy designing and making. We have worked on the Traffic Lights Experiment and Electric Quiz and they have yielded great satisfaction too. Dyeing with Red Cabbage, Soap and Vinegar is always good when the sun is shining we head outdoors and experiment. Children have brought in their tee-shirts and engaged in a spot of dyeing themselves. Designing and Making Rockets has proven to be a popular activity too with many of our students. Kitchen Chemistry is also fun and testing How much air our Lungs can hold never fails to impress and entertain!!! I also think since the Activities outline how Maths could be integrated into the fun activity even more learning is happening. Every class embarks on a spot of planting in the Spring.
Top tips for success in AoSME are:
Don’t be afraid to get involved. Science & Engineering is all around us. It is good to investigate, to experiment and to see what happens. We can learn from our successes AND from our Failures!! There is so much information at our fingertips. We can’t know everything but isn’t it super to be able to surf the www and see what others have done? AoSME is a fantastic way to get involved. They have great ideas in their Activity Pack and even if you have exhausted those ideas there is still loads of wonderful opportunities all around us that need to be examined and explored. Tune into primaryscience.ie and their newsletter usually has some very interesting articles.