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27 Apr

Welcome to our submission for the Discover Primary Science and Maths award for 2018. This is our 13th 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 4th 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. This year, we did a whole school experiment involving our garden. You can read all about it below. It has been great to see the improvements we can make towards helping our school think about sustainability.

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 sixth 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 WW013.

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: 1st Class learned all about static electricity.  Read all about their experiment here.
  • Living Things: Junior and Senior Infants both planted seeds as part of the experiments. It was great to watcch them grow! You can read all about their experimenst here (for Junior Infants) and here (for Senior Infants).
  • Environmental Awareness and Care: As a school, we undertook a schoolwide experiment to try and improve our school garden, with the focus on making it a more welcoming place to pollinators. A huge amount of work went in to this experiment and we were delighted to see an increase in bees, as well as bugs and insects. You can read about their experiment here.
  • Energy and Forces: 2nd Class used their STEM skills to design and make bridges. You can read all about their great experiment here.
  • Materials: 3rd Class learned all about light and worked on what the best light shade would look like. You can read all about their great work here!
  • Energy and Forces: 4th Class learned all about friction, using ramps at different heights and materials here.
  • Energy and Forces: 5th Class were experimenting with heat. You can check out their fun investigation here.
  • Energy and Forces: 6th Class had great fun designing and making rollercoasters and float planes. You can read all about these STEM activities here.

Boys and girls from 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th class took part in the First Lego League again this year thanks to Mr. Kinsella and Mr. Foley, in partnership with Salesforce. You can read all about the huge effort that went in to planning for their trip to Galway here.

You can also read all about our Space Week activites here and here!

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

Mr. Kinsella and Mr. Foley ran an after school club which culminated in our school taking part in the FIRST Lego League in Galway. It was a superb experience yet again for the boys and girls which you can read about 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. You can check out all of our tweets from the year @stpetersbray!

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 worked previously in conjunction with St. Patrick’s College regarding professional development in STEM. A big part of this focused on the Design and Make process, and helped us make sure STEM was an integral part of our engineering activities. An example of how we look to incorporate STEM into our lessons can be seen here, where 2nd Class made their own bridges!

We include two examples of our Design and Make lessons as part of our application. As you can see from our blog post by 6th Class here, we have numerous examples of engineering taking place in our school across many classes during Engineers Week.

Step 4: Maths

Throughout our Science investigations, we incorporated Maths where possible, For example, 4th learned about measue and used charts to record their results here, and 6th Class used mathematical skills to record their rollercoaster experiment, 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 investigated rollercoasters. 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.

We hoped you enjoyed reading our submission!

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