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25 Apr

Welcome to our submission for the Discover Primary Science and Maths award for 2016. This is our 11th year taking part in the Awards! Once again this year we are applying for the Plaque of STEM Excellence. This award is given to schools that carry out extensive work in science, technology, engineering and maths, all of which are very important in St. Peter’s.

This is the 2nd year that we have had Junior and Senior Infants taking part in the award! It is great to see the young scientists have so much fun learning about Science and Maths.

Yet again, a huge amount of work has gone into this. Every class in the whole school has taken part in this application, well done to all the pupils and teachers! For the fourth year in a row, we are using our blog to submit our award and to link back to our activities that have taken part during the year. Our SFI Award number this year is WW008.

Step 1: Science

For this step, we carried out six hands-on Science investigations under the four different strands in classes throughout the school. We also tried to include Maths in these investigations where possible, linking in with Step 4.

  • Energy and Forces: 3rd Class learned all about magnets and how they work. They even used to make cars that could move! Read all about there experiment here.
  • Living Things: As part of Science Week 2015, 3rd Class also looked at the best conditions for plants to grow, which you can read about here.
  • Environmental Awareness and Care: 4th class investigated water pollution and how oil and water react when mix together. You can read about their experiment here.
  • Materials: 5th Class investigated which material would do the best job at soaking up a spillage, which even included brainstorming what exactly “best” could mean! Read all about it here.
  • Energy and Forces: Junior Infants investigated magnets here when they went fishing!
  • Materials: 2nd Class looked at what materials would be useful for making parachutes. You can read all about that here.

Mr. Foley’s class had a trip to the zoo, and learned about animals and their habitats. For a lot of the class, it was their first trip to the zoo and the tigers alone made it one they will never forget! You can read about their trip here.

6th Class also took part in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which you can read all about here and here.

Step 2: Technology

In the second step, we had to ensure that technology was used by our pupils. As a previous winner of the Junior Spider Awards, technology has become a part of every-day life in St. Peter’s. We were also awarded the Digital School of Distinction award, which showcased the effort and time we put in incorporating technology into our daily school lives.

For example, 6th Class’ entry for the BT Young Scientist Award was based on programming a robot, which really impressed the judges on the day. You can read all about their comments here and you can read more about their project here.

Mr. Kinsella and Ms. Byrne ran an after school club which culminated in our school taking part in the FIRST Lego League in Galway. It was a superb experience for the boys and girls which you can read about here.

The school also took part in Internet Safety Week, which you can read about here.

One pupil in particular has really seen the possibilities that technology offers, and has regularly contributed his very own animated lego videos to our school blog. Check out Tommy’s latest video here.

Throughout all the other classes in the school, pupils of every age have also used cameras, laptops, animoto, and this blog, as well as apps such as vine and twitter, to showcase the work that they have been doing during the course of the year. As you can see from our submission this year, we have continued to implement technology in our day-to-day teaching and learning, with Maths and Science at the forefront of this.

Step 3: Engineering

For the third step of our application for the DPSM Plaque of STEM Excellence, we have had a big focus on the Design and Make element of Science. Our staff have been working in conjunction with St. Patrick’s College regarding professional development in STEM. A big part of this has focused on the Design and Make process.

We include two examples of our Design and Make lessons as part of our application. Senior Infants designed and made coats for the Gruffalo, which you can read about here.

1st Class also had great fun taking part in designing and making boats, which you can read all about here.

Step 4: Maths

Throughout our Science investigations, we incorporated Maths where possible, For example, Junior Infants learned about data and used charts to record their results here, and 3rd Class used mathematical skills to measure the length and distance they were able to move the cars with magnets, which you can read about here.

Step 5: STEM Showcase

6th Class took part yet again in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS in January this year. This year they worked on programming a robot for their entry. As always, they put a lot of effort into their submission, and presented it brilliantly on the day. You can read about their work here, and what the judges thought here.

We hoped you enjoyed reading our submission!

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