Christmas Celebrations in Ard Scoil na nDéise
As 2019 comes to an end we look back at a fun filled month of December where Christmas came to Ard Scoil na nDéise and the halls were filled with plenty of festive cheer. During the month of December we raised funds for the Dungarvan Lions Club by holding our annual Christmas Jumper Day organised by the Cairde Girls. We also gave back to the local community by organising a food collection for the local St. Vincent de Paul Society. On a more Global level, we donated a bumper hoard of shoeboxes to the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal. Transition Year students also raised funds by carol singing in town. All class groups got involved in decorating their classrooms and there were prizes for the best decorated classrooms. We enjoyed our Christmas Carol Service in the Parish Church which is always a high point of our school year. On the last day of term we had our annual Christmas Concert. We were proud to see so many of our students (and some staff) get up on the stage to share their talents with the school community. 2019 has been a great year in Ard Scoil na nDéise and we look forward to seeing what 2020 has in store for us.
Ard Scoil na nDéise students compete in Munster Senior Schools Swimming in UL
It was great to see 8 Árd Scoil Na nDéise students representing Ard Scoil na nDéise in the Munster Senior Schools Swimming on Sunday, 13th October in the 50 metre pool in University of Limerick. Aoife, Elia, Heather, Sarah, Crea, Darcy, Ruth and Maeve were competing in a field of over 500 students from schools all over Munster. All the girls got new personal bests with Elia and Heather reaching the 100m breaststroke final, and Elia also reaching the 100m butterfly final also. A great day out and a great experience! We look forward to increasing our number of students at this event next year.
Ard Scoil na nDéise Student Receives Award from Trinity College Dublin
The Board of Management and staff of Ard Scoil na nDéise would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Lowri Clancy Davies on her recent award from Trinity College Dublin. Lowri sat the Leaving Certificate in June 2019 and is now studying Music and German at Trinity College Dublin. Having obtained in excess of five hundred points, Lowri was already recognised at our school awards night in October for her outstanding Leaving Certificate results. On Monday, 18th November Lowri was again given recognition for her Leaving Certificate results at The Award of the 2019 Entrance Exhibitions at Trinity College Dublin. It was a wonderful occasion and was richly deserved recognition for all of Lowri’s hard work. It must be said that she applied herself with great diligence not alone during Sixth Year but throughout her time in Ard Scoil na nDéise. We are so proud of her achievements and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Lowri!
Ard Scoil na nDéise Students Care About Climate Change
This year in Ard Scoil na nDéise we have taken positive steps to show awareness of climate change and to reduce waste and increase recycling. Last year, three Sixth Year students, Orna O’Brien, Orla Renton, and Lydia Nugent organised a petition signed by all members of the school community and presented it to the local Council requesting water dispensers and better facilities to dispose of rubbish and recycling in town. This petition was well received by the Council. In support of this initiative on the part of the students, we have invested in water dispensers in both of our school buildings to reduce the amount of single use plastic bottles being used by our students. The machines have been well received by students and staff, and more and more of us are now using refillable water bottles in an effort to reduce our use of plastic. One of our Transition Year mini-companies this year is even selling refillable water bottles to further encourage us to be environmentally aware and responsible. Furthermore, we have placed new waste and recycling bins in all of the classrooms in the school to make it very easy for students and teachers to sort their rubbish and maximise our recycling while minimising our negative impact on the environment. We have already significantly reduced the amount of waste going to landfill every week and we hope to see this continue as the year goes on. Well done to everyone involved!!
Ard Scoil na nDéise Mini-company Craft Fair
On Wednesday, 11th December the Transition Year Enterprise classes held the annual Christmas Craft Fair in the school hall. The Craft Fair is an opportunity for our Transition Year mini-companies to showcase the products that they are selling or have produced and give staff and students an opportunity to start their Christmas shopping and stock up on their innovative products! Jonathan Earl form Waterford Local Enterprise Office visited the Craft Fair on the day and identified four mini-companies who will now go on to represent Dungarvan shortly in the County Final. The four mini-companies going forward are:
- Solas producing handmade Christmas decorations
- Farbspur producing hand painted bookmarks
- Turn it Green producing kits containing reusable items to reduce plastic waste and the use of single use products
- Mimmy producing kits containing personal hygiene essentials for girls
We were delighted to see the amount of effort that had been put in by all of the students and it was hard to pick out just four companies to go forward to the County Final. It was also wonderful to see such a focus on reusable products and products that will make a positive impact on the environment. Well done to all involved and well done to Ms. Gleeson and Ms. Foley for all of their work mentoring the girls as they prepared for this event.
Ard Scoil na nDéise participation in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition
This year Fifth Year students Martha Ryan and Oliwia Pawlikowska qualified for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin. Here is an account of their involvement in the exhibition.
Out of 2,000 entries we were one of the 550 projects selected to be part of the exhibition. We were also the first project from the Ard Scoil to qualify for the competition. Our project was entitled ‘Case Study of the Behaviour of Freshwater Algae in Acidic Conditions’. We investigated the potential effects of acid rain on algae from our local lakes. As algae are the basis of most aquatic eco-systems they are a good indicator of how other organisms would fare in acidic conditions. We started our project in October and worked up to the last week of December. We came to the conclusion that our studied algae cannot survive in a pH value of below 5.5.
Being in Fifth Year, it was a lot of work on top of schoolwork. However, it completely paid off as we had an incredible few days at the exhibition. We arrived on Wednesday and following an opening ceremony with special guests Brian Cox and Leo Varadkar, the competition commenced. We got judged by several judges over the few days and became more confident every time. It was great to see that sixty percent of the projects on display were done by females and sixty percent were on climate related topics. As two students who wish to pursue careers in STEM it was a really inspiring and interesting event. Also, a big thanks to our science teacher Ms. Brosnan who helped us throughout the project.
Written by Martha Ryan and Oliwia Pawlikowska
Achievements in the area of STEAM in Ard Scoil na nDéise
Subjects included in the area of STEAM are science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, or applied mathematics. Here in Ard Scoil na nDéise we encourage our students to excel in these areas and we consistently have a high uptake in many of these subject areas at Higher Level in the State Examinations. We are delighted to see our students developing an interest in STEAM subjects as they break down gender stereotypes and continue to achieve exceptional grades in these areas. Furthermore, we hope that their strong interest in these subject areas will foster continued collaboration with industries in our local community based on science, technology and engineering. We have had a number of noteworthy achievements in the area of STEAM in recent times.
Sarah Nyhan, currently in Transition Year has been identified as a high achiever in Maths and Science in the 2019 Junior Certificate examinations and has been invited to participate in the National Junior Science Olympiad competition to select six students to compete at the International Junior Science Olympiad in Doha, Quatar in December.
We are thrilled that two of our Fifth Year students Martha Ryan and Oliwia Pawlikowska have qualified to compete in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin, from 8th to the 11th of January 2020. Their project, A Case Study of The Behaviour of Freshwater Algae in Acidic Conditions has been entered into the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences category. Competition is always fierce in this category and we wish the girls well with their preparations. First, Fourth, and Fifth Year students will travel to Dublin to support the girls at the competition.
Kate Fleming, currently in Transition Year has won second place in the annual Eurofins essay writing competition. This competition gives students an excellent opportunity to think more about the role and importance of science in our lives. This year the essay title was ‘Global Warming and the Duty of Science’. Kate wrote a compelling essay on climate change and the role of science in fighting against this. We are delighted that her hard work paid off and we hope she will gain great insights from her week of work experience in Eurofins.
We recently had four winners at a local level in the Credit Union Art Competition. This is a very prestigious competition and we are delighted to see Ard Scoil na nDéise well represented at this level. In the General Category Age 11-13, Katelyn Gardner won first place. In the General Category Age 14-17, all three prizes were won by Ard Scoil na nDéise students. First place went to Erin Canning, second place went to Shari Harty and third place went to Amy O’Donovan. The Art Competition Awards Night was held on Thursday 17th October 2019 in Lawlors Hotel. We have had students reach the national final for the last two years in a row so we hope for similar success this year.
On Friday last, our Transition Year students were invited to UCC by past pupil Klaudia Lewanska who is currently a 3rd year Civil, Environmental and Structural Engineering student in UCC. Klaudia is currently a member of the Engineers Without Borders society which hosts an annual competition for TY students. Our Transition Year students went to UCC for the day to build a windmill out of recyclable materials and participated in STEAM related talks afterwards. Our students had a great day and even managed to win second and third place in a quiz held in UCC on the day!
Science Shows at Ard Scoil na nDéise
This year to mark Science Week we opened our doors to welcome fifth and sixth class pupils from local primary schools to attend our annual science shows. Over the course of a two week period we met students from St. Mary’s, Scoil Gharbháin, Scoil Mhuire Abbeyside, Modeligo, Whitechurch, Ardmore, Coolnasmear and Garranbane. We were delighted to meet such bright and enthusiastic pupils and we were so impressed with how willingly they engaged with the experiments done in the science shows. During the shows students learned about centripetal force, the International Space Station, gravity and weightlessness, chemical reactions, distribution of weight, atmospheric pressure, and electricity. They engaged with these topics in various fun ways from creating explosions, to testing out beds of nails, to starting fires, and many other hair-raising experiences. Judging by their level of engagement and their ability to answer questions and predict outcomes of experiments, we reckon there are a lot of budding scientists in Dungarvan. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them during the science shows and we hope we ignited a spark of enthusiasm for science within them. Special thanks to Mr. Veale, Mr. Cosgrave, Mr. Mulligan, and Ms. Fitzgerald for all of the hard work that they put into organising the shows and keeping things running smoothly during the two weeks.