We are currently raising funds to purchase a number of Lego WeDo 2.0 robotics kits to support
the delivery of STEM Education in our school (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Discover Primary Science and Maths Badge of Excellence
This year in Bunscoil McAuley Rice we have applied for a new Discover Science and Maths Award known as the Badge of Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). This is a full year initiative and every class in the school is involved.
STEM is multi-faceted and goes beyond the main disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. It allows students to learn and apply content, practices and skills of the STEM disciplines to situations they encounter in their everyday lives to develop STEM literate students.
The Badge of Excellence focuses on raising STEM awareness for the students, teachers and also the parents in our school. Throughout the course of the year the aim is to further develop STEM skills such as creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication through a number of different STEM activities and projects.
- We will host our STEM Show and Tell Showcase event on Wednesday 25th March in the school hall. This is an opportunity for children to experience and explore the work going on in other classrooms and also to share all that they have discovered in STEM subjects so far this year. The event will also be open to parents and grandparents – we look forward to seeing you on the day!
- Our delivery and approach to STEM education in Bunscoil McAuley Rice will receive a welcome boost in the coming weeks as we are awaiting the delivery of 15 x LEGO WeDo 2.0 classroom kits and 11 x LEGO Spike Prime classroom kits which will be used in conjunction with our new iPads to learn all about computer coding, robotics and engineering in a fun, challenging and fully engaging way. Huge thanks to Red Hat and Red Hat Women In Ireland Give Back for all of their support in making this happen.
- Our new iPads are proving very popular and each class’ iPad slot has been doubled due to new timetables. All iPads have been installed with the latest and most popular educational apps to maximise the learning and development of each student in a safe I.T. environment. Mr. O’ Dwyer will also be starting computer coding classes before Easter using our new school iPads and a number of different coding apps.
29th February - Science Update
Since returning to school after the Christmas break, some fantastic experiments and investigations have been carried out in science. Mrs. Calnan’s and Mrs. O’ Shea’s 3rd class have been busy creating electric circuits.
They also successfully created their own egg drop parachutes using eggs, paper and other material which they tested from the balcony of our 1st floor.
Mr Walsh’s 2nd class were examining friction by testing toy cars on a number of different surfaces. Some very interesting results were witnessed as can be seen in the photos.
Both 1st classes have been doing experiments of their own. They were tasked with making salt crystals. Some fantastic salt crystals were created.
Last week our school bought brand new science experiment kits. Each specific kit focuses on an area of the science curriculum, such as magnetism, electricity, forces, etc. and contains equipment and resources to do dozens of experiments and investigations. There is no doubt that this investment will add greatly to the children’s learning experiences for years to come.
29th February - Bridges Update
Mr. Fogarty’s and Ms. O'Sullivan's classes have been kept busy since the beginning of this term working on their bridges. All research and brainstorming was put to use as the building commenced. They have been experimenting with different materials such as lollipop sticks, spaghetti, elastic bands, glue guns, Knex and more, in order to create their own unique masterpiece. The children have created different styles of bridges such as Suspension, Truss, Trestle, Cantilever and Through Arch. Mrs. Tyrell’s 5th class have also been busy creating their own bridges using various materials. All bridges are now complete and will be showcased at our STEM Show and Tell before Easter.
Mr. O’ Dwyer’s Senior Infants have also been focusing on bridges. They have been learning about all the famous bridges around the world and have watched videos of how the Rose FitzGerald Kennedy Bridge was constructed in New Ross. They also went exploring in the local environment and discovered that there are two different bridges near our school – the pedestrian bridge over the Kings River and the arch bridge on Bridge Street. Our new school iPads are being put to good use as the children are using an app whereby they must build their own bridges using various materials. The children have also been building their own bridges using different materials such as Lego, cardboard, ice cream sticks, toilet paper rolls.
29th February - Nore Valley Pet Farm Update
On the 13th January, Gary from Nore Valley Pet farm visited us to talk us about the fabulous work done on this farm. He told us some very interesting facts about chickens and the life cycle of a chicken. He left us with an incubator and six eggs. Fast forward to the 5th of February and our first chick broke free from its shell. We currently have 5 healthy chicks in the foyer of our school for everyone to adore. It comes as no surprise these chicks are some of the most popular visitors to visit our school and they are well cared for by the children on a daily basis.
14th - 18th October - Maths Week 2019
Maths Week 2019 was celebrated worldwide from the 12th – 20th October. Bunscoil McAuley Rice registered and joined this nationwide event along with over 400,000 other people.
Many activities were enjoyed this week with special attention and focus on maths and numeracy. Every class in the school completed a maths trail and most class teachers organized Maths Quiz’s. Down in the infant classrooms many hands on maths games were played and enjoyed.
11th - 15th November - Science Week 2019
Shortly after Halloween Bunscoil McAuley Rice participated in Science Week 2019. The theme of this year’s Science Week was ‘Climate Change’.
To mark the occasion, each day a famous scientist was chosen as our Scientist of the day and a summary of their career and achievements was read over the intercom of the school. Our chosen scientists were Anders Celsius, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison and Greta Thunberg.
Every class in the school participated in science quizzes throughout the week. A science book exhibition was held which comprised of science books and posters that belong to the school and its teachers. Over 250 books and posters were on display and each class was invited to come and explore the exhibition and read the brilliant books available in our school.
Throughout the week, each class carried out different science experiments. This proved to be the highlight of the week for many students. From dancing raisins to chromatography, a wide array of science skills were used and developed.
Windmills and Wind Energy
Mrs Calnan and Mrs O’ Shea’s 3rd classes are busy doing projects based on windmills and wind energy. Both classes are discovering what wind energy is and how it is created. During the project they will learn about the disadvantages and advantages of windmills and the effect they can have on climate change and global warming.
Mr Ryan and Mrs Ryan’s 4th classes are currently doing a project based on solar energy. Both classes are researching solar energy and the positives and negatives involved. In the coming year we hope to begin our new school extension. The children will investigate the advantages and disadvantages of these solar panels if they were to be installed in the new extension such as the price, energy conservation, environmental impact, etc.
Both 5th classes and both 6th classes have been exploring the different bridges that exist around the world and the different materials and designs used. With the use of an engineering app on our school iPads, the children have been tasked with researching, designing and building their own bridge using various materials. They will be unveiled at a show and tell event in the school later in the year.
Nore Valley Pet Farm
Recently our school had some special visitors from Nore Valley Pet Farm. Gary from Nore Valley addressed the school and discussed the brilliant work that goes on in this fantastic local farm. He also discussed what animals live on the farm. The children were told all about the process of a hen laying an egg. Nore Valley have been kind enough to allow us to carry out our own chick project here in Bunscoil McAuley Rice. With the help of an incubator, we are going to monitor a number of eggs until they hatch in a couple of weeks. Many thanks to Nore Valley Pet Farm for this opportunity.