The preparations for the Vex Robotics competition are well and truly under way in Scoil Mhuire. Students from 5th and 6th class have been working on building our Stretch Robot and programming it for competition. The girls have also been researching the use of technology in the everyday lives of people and just how useful it really is. We are learning so much each week and are enjoying every step of the process. We are very proud of the Robotics team and are very excited for the Vex Robotics Primary School competition which will take place in CIT in January 2018.
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!! Our senior classes in particular have many opportunities to get involved in applying their scientific and mathematical knowledge to technology and engineering – Coder Dojo, Robotics and the science club being options for children in 4th, 5th and 6th classes.
This year 4th class had a Robotics workshop that they really enjoyed! You can see that they made their own robots and took them on a tour of the school!!
This school year saw Scoil Mhuire introduce an after school science club for the first time. It was offered for a block of 6 weeks, for an hour after school on Wednesdays, to girls in 5th and 6th classes and was entirely optional. The uptake was fantastic as the girls are generally very interested in science and curious about the world around them. In total the club ran three times in the year allowing 36 children this wonderful opportunity to work scientifically in a small group. It was a pleasure for Bean Uí Shúilleabháin (and Iníon Uí Chéilleachair, some weeks) to work with each group as they all displayed such enthusiasm and interest in all things scientific.
In science club the girls were encouraged to bring their own ideas or materials to explore. Teachers also provided interesting ideas and materials for both demonstration and hands on investigation. The girls got a chance to made bouncy balls and slime, to explore friction and electrical circuits amongst other things! Ask the girls how a lemon and some wires might be used to light a bulb, what shapes are best used in the construction of cup-towers or ask them about how oxygen gas can be made and demonstrated to be present – they will have a lot to tell you! We won’t say anything about the dent in the library ceiling or how it might have happened….all in the name of science! It’s nice to know science is leaving it’s mark on the school.
In May 2017, four very interested scientists in 6th class were selected to make a trip to UCC to represent our school at the Salters’ Institute Festival of Chemistry. This Salters’ Festival of Chemisty is one of 51 festivals that happened throughout the UK and Ireland in 2017, aiming to promote the appreciation of chemistry and related sciences amongst the young. We are very grateful to our PFA who both made this opportunity possible and covered the costs involved in attending and traveling to the event. Bean Ui Shúilleabháin traveled with the girls for the day.
As you can see, our students had a very interesting day: they had a chance to participate in a lab challenge and also got to see a chemistry magic show. We were very proud to have been awarded 3rd prize in the challenge and also 3rd place in the university challenge. We came home with a lovely box of science resources for the school. We’re are especially proud to have done so well as we were the only participating primary school at the event!
Scoil Mhuire Soar Into The Future
Scoil Mhuire have entered in the VEX IQ Robotics Competition for the third year in a row. Over the past five months the pupils of Scoil Mhuire have worked around the clock to design, build, programme and drive their Robot, Rocky.
The world needs the students of today to become the scientists, engineers, and problem-solving leaders of tomorrow. Science constantly presents us with new breakthroughs and challenges, creating greater opportunities for problem-solving through technology. The solutions to these problems could help change the world, and technology-based problem solvers will be the people to make it all possible. Each season, one Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) subject is the primary focus of the VEX IQ STEM Research Project. This year the STEM Research Project theme focuses on Robotic Technology in the community. Students are encouraged to think about how Robotic Technology is being used in areas they encounter on a daily basis. Teams will develop an area of study that interests them.
Scoil Mhuire Robotics Team investigated the use of robots in the home and predicted the future of robotics. In October the team visited Collins Barracks in Cork City and analysed how the bomb disposal robot called “Hobo” functioned. Using this information Scoil Mhuire experimented with their own robot. They discovered their robot could travel up to forty three metres while “Hobo” could only travel ten metres. The project team predict robots will play a dominant role in the home.
Blue Frog Robotics
The Scoil Mhuire Robotics Team completed an ample amount of research based on robots in the community. Blue Frog Robotics was one company which fascinated them. This company have been developing robots since 2007. Blue Frog Robotics developed a robot called “Buddy” (The Companion Robot). Buddy is the revolutionary companion robot that improves your everyday life. Open source and easy to use, BUDDY connects, protects, and interacts with each member of your family. Their goal is to design and develop robots that are accessible to everyone and help people live easier and safer, and have fun.