L-R: Sinead O’Donovan and Hannah O’Donoghue from Our Lady of Mercy N.S, Bantry.
West Cork was well represented amongst the almost three thousand fourth, fifth and sixth class students from across the country who displayed their class projects at the RDS Primary Science Fair from January 8 to 10.
In preparation for the fair, the entire class is encouraged to be inquisitive and curious about the world around them, working under the supervision of their teacher. This led to West Cork school projects such as:
‘Does six weeks of core training improve sporting performance in pre-teens?’
by Barryroe NS, Lislevane, Bandon
‘How can we harness the sun’s energy through the use of a solar panel?’
by Our Lady of Mercy NS, Bantry.
‘How do wind turbines turn wind into electricity’
by Derryclough NS, Drinagh.
‘Do cows have blue eyes? If not, why not?’
by Darrara NS, Clonakilty.
‘What sea creatures inhabit the rocky shore of Kinsale and what adaptations help them survive?’ by SN Chobh Chionn tSaile, Kinsale.
‘How does friction affect travel?’
by St Enda’s NS, Kilnadur, Dunmanway.
Better teaching of STEM subjects — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in primary education is considered by many experts to be crucial in strengthening Ireland’s international science performance.
According to the Chief Executive of the RDS, Michael Duffy, “the RDS Primary Science Fair is just part of the RDS science programme that cultivates science education at primary school age through engaging with children, teachers and wider society. Specifically the RDS Primary Science Fair encourages primary school teachers to focus on developing students’ core scientific skills, but teachers have found that language and social skills develop too, as well as being beneficial for children’s confidence. Feedback shows that teacher’s confidence in teaching STEM subjects — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – also improves using this inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning in the classroom.”