SPORTS star Colm Begley, a Sports Science student at DCU, was a very welcome guest at Timahoe NS recently, where he presented the school with the much coveted Dicover Primary Science Excellence in Maths and Science Award.
Among the many activities undertaken by the school to win the award was a visit to Carlow IT to meet with NASA Astronaut Greg Johnson, a visit to the school by Engineer Tim Shanahan during National Engineers Week, visits to Portlaoise Library for the Magic of Science demonstration and for The Tree of Live exhibition, and a five-series Heritage In Schools visit to Timahoe NS by ecologist Dale Treadwell.
A major part of the work was the School’s award winning entry- Worms Worth- in this year’s Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS.
All children from third and fourth classes took part in the Europe-wide Grenwave project, where signs of spring were observed recorded online, and rainfall and wind speeds were measured and recorded on a daily basis Throughout the year all classes integrated maths into science work , and carried out a range of science experiments.
Evidence of all of this work was recorded through pictures and words in an impressive logbook and submitted to Discover Primary Science for adjudication. According to teacher Patsy Healy, who is science co-ordinator at the school: “Winning the award has been a huge honour, but every minute of the process has been fantastic. From building their own equipment to measure wind and rain, to recording their data online and comparing their results with those of their peers across Ireland, to year-round experiments, it’s been such a roller-coaster,” she enthused.
In a sports-mad school, Colm Begley was the perfect choice for guest presenter. He told the children about how great it is for him to be able to combine the two things he loves most- sports and science. He outlined what’s involved in the Sports Science Degree Course, and encouraged the children to “stick with science”. While the children were keen to ask him questions , they didn’t all involve science, as many of the aspiring young footballers looked to him for some inside information on the Laois Football Team. School principal Ann Bergin said “the learning involved in this wonderful science programme was surpassed only by the enthusiasm, commitment and team work of the pupils and staff”.