Curious Minds is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Education and Public Engagement Programme, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public.
The programme originated as Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) in 2003 with the goal of introducing primary school students to science in a practical, hands-on, enjoyable and interactive way. Since 2010 the programme has been run in conjunction with the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) Ireland which uses space to inspire and engage young people in science and technology in the world around them.
Enjoy looking at our pictures in which we engage with the Curious Minds Gold Award.
The children in First Class had a great time making Playdough. They examined the states of matter and had a hands-on experience of the changes that occur when solids and liquids mix.
While engaging in this topic from the curriculum many classes from our school were extremely busy and engaged in meaningful contextualised learning.
First Class undertook a study about healthy teeth. The class learned about healthy oral hygiene and conducted an experiment to investigate the effects that certain drinks have on teeth. They recorded their findings in their SESE copies. This experiment connected to everyday life and the children realised the importance of taking care of their teeth as unlike our bones, our bodies are unable to rebuild teeth.
Fourth Class learned that gravity is a force. The children designed, planned and carried out an investigation into how different variables can have an affect on how a helicopter spins. This activity led to a greater understanding of fair testing. The children used many skills during this investigation e.g. observing, analysing, timing, recording and communicating.
The children from a variety of classes were involved in planting and harvesting fruit and vegetables in the school. It is a fabulous worthwhile project that taught the children exactly what plants need to grow and survive. They had to care for and nurture their plants over a period of time. By doing this they yielded a very rich harvest.
The children in Third and Fourth Class had a fun and exciting time at the Engineers Week Road Show in DKIT. Wuxi visited the school for a workshop with Fifth and Sixth Class. They enjoyed making parachutes for their eggs. During Space Week Fourth Class became NASA astronauts. They designed and made their own rockets which they launched in the school field at the end of the week.
Technology is the use of knowledge to invent new devices or tools. Throughout history, technology has made people’s lives easier. Children are growing up in a digital world as “digi natives”. Therefore they need to be able to function and operate within this world.
Third Class made great use of the chromebooks to undertake a research project on Irish Scientists. Second Class have been using the technology in the school to help them with their addition and subtraction. They have been improving their tables while having fun.
Engineering involves creating and building structures, products, and systems by using Math, Science and Art. An engineer is a person who does the engineering . Engineers are problem solvers who create useful inventions. As part of the Science curriculum the children have undertaken design and make projects and actually worked as engineers and developed their problem solving and questioning skills in the process.
The school was very busy during Engineers Week. Along with the trip to the Engineers Road Show and a visit from Wuxi the children were immersed in Engineering all week. Junior Infants to First Class worked in groups to complete various challenges involving paper and plastic cups. The Brickx Club visited the children from Junior Infants to Second Class. Each Class had a fun session of problem solving and building with Lego. Fourth to Sixth Class enjoyed lots of engineering games and activities which involved building the biggest tower. Second Class took the Marshmallow Challenge. To finish the week off two of our Senior Quiz teams went to DKIT to represent the school at a STEM Quiz. Both teams did incredibly well and we placed joint 2nd overall. We have a selection of photos from these activities below.
Sixth Class designed and made Football Tables. The Class used all their scientific skills to complete this task. Enjoy looking at their creations.
One of the most important reasons to study math is because it builds problem-solving skills. All children need to know how to reason and analytically think through a problem. These problem solving skills have been enhanced and developed among the children in our school through a range of focused activities.
Maths Week Ireland took place between the 15th and the 23rd of October 2022. Throughout the school the children engaged in a wide variety of mathematical activities from math games on the Chromebooks, Math quizzes on Zoom, Card games, Art activities focusing on Shape and Space, Problem Solving tasks and Math Buddies. The children from 6th class also engaged in a Math Workshop with lecturers from the DKIT. This workshop focused on binary code and how is used to create pixelated images.
First and Second Classes completed Maths Trails. The children in Second also explored symmetry using shapes and created marvellous symmetrical patterns. There are a selection of photographs included here to show the breadth of hands on Math lessons that were completed in all classes throughout the school.
Fifth class children engaged in a sustainable housing project. They explored the various types of sustainable energy sources. They investigated solar panels. In groups the children designed and made houses that promoted sustainable energy sources. The project was then displayed and presented to the children of 2nd Class in a STEM SHOWCASE Show and Tell session.