Trips and Travels

BT Young Scientist Exhibition!

Yesterday, we went to the RDS in Dublin to see the Young Scientist Exhibition. First, we were taken outside to a tent to watch a show where robots were put in an arena to fight. I thought that the show was really good. We then looked at all of the projects that had been entered into the competition. One project that I found really interesting was called "What Makes up your Make-up?" We also saw the project that went on to win the competition. The project was done
 by a Dublin student who found answers to previously unsolved mathematical problems. 

Next, we went into the 'Eco room'. There were lots of environmentally friendly stalls there. I thought that the Dublin Zoo stand was very interesting. We then went to see the rest of the exhibition. There were loads of stalls, such as a UCD science stall and lots of stalls from different gaeltachts around Ireland. People from RTÉ were also there and we saw Ryan Tubridy! 

Despite temporarily losing my phone, I had a good time at the exhibiton. :-)

Happy Holly-Days!

Today we went into town to raise money for the ISPCC by selling badges with holly on them. First, we went into the hall where Susan and Emma gave us our collection boxes and told us where we had to go. They also told us that the money would go towards the ISPCC's Childline service. We then went off wearing our Santa hats to our designated areas. Aine, Jessie and I went to stand outside the Gaiety Theatre. It was really cold but it was for a great cause and we collected way more money than we had expected to! 

Road Safety Roadshow!

On Thursday, we went to a Road Safety Roadshow that was held in Punchestown. As soon as we got our wristbands we were free to look around the exhibition that had been set up on one side of the hall. There were lots of different stalls there, such as the Kildare County Fire Service stall. We also got lots of free stuff which was good. After about two hours, we went into the other part of the hall for the road safety show. At the start of the show, a policeman from New York spoke about the NYPD. He was very funny. After that it got pretty serious. We watched lots of videos about road safety and we saw the consequences of not driving safely. It's safe to say I'll definitely never forget to wear my seat belt again. The show was really interesting and I really enjoyed it. Even though the Roadshow ended at one o'clock, we got to go home as soon as we got back to the school because we had a half day. :-)

Maths Madness

On Wednesday, we went to a new Project Maths trail in Rathbeggan Lakes, Co Meath. We were put into groups to solve lots of different maths problems, such as figuring out the height of the zipline pole and finding out the area of certain places in the grounds. It was really really cold but we still had fun doing the tasks, and we got to wear our wellies which is always a bonus! My group didn't win a family pass, but it would have been nice to win because there is lots of other cool stuff to do there like kayaking and abseiling. 

On the way home we went to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre for lunch. When we were finished we got to look around the shops until it was time to get back on the bus. We had a really good day and I would definitely recommend the maths trail to students who are doing the new Project Maths course. :-)

Schools Across Borders Conference

On Thursday we went to City West Hotel for the School's Across Borders Global Citizens Student Conference. There were students from six other schools there. 
When we arrived, Darren Irvine gave us a quick introduction. Then, about four students from each class made a presentation on the progress they had made so far. Aoife B, Ailbhe, Roisin and Karen presented from our class. After this, we were split into different groups with people from different schools to discuss the presentations. I was in group "Justice". Next, a drama group from Antrim called "Quadrangle" performed a play for us. It was called "Burma for One". It was a really effective play about an Irish girl who wanted to raise awareness about what was going on in Burma. We then got to meet some students from Palestine and Burma. 
After lunch, people who work for different NGOs, such as Trócaire and Amnesty International, came to talk to us and briefly explained the work of their NGOs. We then split up and half of us got to go to a different room for an activity fair. I spent most of my time at the graffiti wall activity. When we got back, people from each of the NGOs had set up a stall around the room where they spoke more about their organisation. My group only had time to visit one of the stalls. I went to the Amnesty International Stall. A man called Dan spoke to us about Human Rights, it was really interesting. 
This conference was an opportunity for students from each school to get together and share their ideas and thoughts about the project. Before the conference, I was still confused about the project and what we are trying to achieve but now I have a better understanding of what we are doing. :-)

Trip to Town

On Thursday, our English teachers brought us into town for a WB Yeats themed trip. When we arrived, we split into our class groups before beginning our first tour. 

First, we went into the National Museum with Mr K. Our tour guide showed us lots of artefacts from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. My favourite artefacts were the lunulae that we saw. They were thin, golden pieces of jewellery that were worn at the start of the Bronze Age. It was interesting comparing them to the jewellery we wear today. Our tour guide then brought us to see the Bog Bodies. I found them really interesting but also pretty creepy. I was surprised by how much our tour guide could tell us about the lifestyles of the people who were found in the bog, just by examining their bodies. 
Our tour of the museum finished a few minutes earlier so Mr K brought us to see a 1913 Lockout exhibition. We studied the Lockout in history so it was good to get some more information on it. 
Next, we went to the National Library to see the WB Yeats exhibition with Ms O'R, our English teacher. She gave us a worksheet with lots of questions to answer about Yeats and his life as a poet, so we were busy filling it out for the hour that we were there. The exhibition was really cool. We got to read lots of Yeats' poems and there was a small room set up at the back that was like the backstage area in the Abbey Theatre.
When we were finished in the National Library, we had about two hours for lunch on Grafton Street. It was really fun. My friends and I had lunch in Mc Donalds. When we were finished eating, we went to look around some of the shops. 
After lunch, we went to the National Art Gallery. First, our tour guide showed us some of Jack B Yeats' artwork. One of his paintings that we saw was called "The Liffey Swim". She then brought us on to see another painting called "The Opening of the Sixth Seal" by an artist called Francis Danby. Danby was trying to portray the end of the world. Next, we saw some of Picasso's paintings. He used a technique called cubism. This was my favourite part of the trip and now I really want to do art for my Leaving Cert!

Xtraordinary Science

As part of science week, our science teachers took us to Tallaght IT to see a show called Xtraordinary Science. The show was performed by a man called James Soper, who had a great British accent. When we first got there, we were pretty early, so one of the lecturers showed us around the room where they make bacteria. It didn't smell too good but it was pretty interesting!
The show itself was really cool. I was sitting in the front row so I got a really good view of all the exciting experiments that he was doing (I was terrified that he would make me go up and do a demonstration though, especially because there were TY students from another school there!). He did loads of experiments. My favourite experiment was when he popped a balloon full of hydrogen, producing a massive bang.. I got such a fright and Niamh screamed! 
When the show was over, we got to go to Liffey Valley for lunch. We had Mc Donald's (surprise surprise!). When we were finished eating, we walked around Liffey Valley and looked in some of the shops until we had to go back home on the bus. I had a really good day and I learned lots of interesting things that I never knew before. :-) 

An Abundance of Selfies

Yesterday, we went on a trip to the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnam. The Museum is dedicated to Patrick Pearse, who was an Irish teacher and one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. First, we went into the nature room and one of the tour guides told us about Pearse's love for nature. Then she took us out into the gardens of the building and told us about all of the trees and other plants there. The gardens were really nice. My favourite tree was the Crimson King because the leaves were really pretty.
After our break, we watched a short film about the history of the school that Pearse set up, St Enda's. It was very interesting. Our tour guide then brought us on a tour of the actual school. The school was also Pearse's home. I thought it was really beautiful. We also got to watch a college student's photo shoot for a portfolio which was really cool. 
When we were finished our tour and our lunch, we all went out into the gardens and made a video with our teachers, Mrs L, Ms O'C and Ms B.
I really enjoyed our trip and I had lots of fun. :-)

Budding Entrepreneurs

On Thursday, we went to the Moat Theatre in Naas for a mini-company talk. We sat in the theatre with TY students from other schools while a woman from the Kildare County Enterprise Board spoke to us about our mini-company projects. She told us more about the project and explained the marking scheme. She also gave us useful tips on how to set up our business and how to think of good ideas. During the talk, we also had to get into groups. Each group had to come up with a new type of pen. We then had to decide how to market our pen. When we were finished, two people from each group got up to speak about their ideas. I was really surprised by the amount of amazing ideas that each group had thought of. When the talk was over, our mini-company teachers let us go to Mc Donalds! :-)

Carlingford 2013!

On Monday, we all got up really early to get our bus to Carlingford, Louth. Although it didn't seem like it at 6.30 in the morning, it was definitely worth the early start! When we got there, we were split into two groups. My group went to do the 'Carlingford Challenge', which was a series of team building challenges. This was a lot of fun and my team was one of the teams that won. After lunch, we changed into camouflage suits and went into the forest for our second activity, laser tag. We were given special guns and had to shoot the other team. This was by far one of my favourite activities. We were nearly having too much fun to realise that Mr K was cheating the whole time!
That evening, we went back into the forest for a blind-folded walk. I was terrified because one of the instructors kept growling in my ear! When we got back, we had some free time and Mrs L let us go to the Chinese. After we ate, we went back to our room and ate some more (no surprise there...). Sharing a room with my friends was great, Aine K and I made a fort out of our bunk bed! Even though we planned to stay awake all night, we struggled to keep our eyes open past 12 o'clock after our busy day.
The next morning we got up early for our next activity, kayaking. It was freezing! No amount of singing about Father Abraham and his seven sons could warm us up. Despite the cold, this was another one of my favourite activities. We kayaked across to a cave and I put my head under a waterfall that would supposedly give me eternal life. On the way back, we went on a massive water trampoline. It was so much fun, but I was so cold that all i could think about was going back and changing into warm, dry clothes. 
After lunch, we did three activities; body zorbing, 'Communication Breakdown' and archery. In 'Communication Breakdown' we all had to help each other to complete a maze in the dark. I got to learn a completely new skill when we did archery and I surprised myself when I hit the bullseye three times in a row! Body zorbing was my favourite out of the three. After getting myself stuck upside down numerous times, I think I have perfected my somersault. 
I really really enjoyed our trip to Carlingford, but I wish we could have stayed longer. The instructors were very friendly and I got to know girls in my year who I had barely spoken to before.  :-) 


En Route to Castletown 

Last Thursday, our history teachers took us out for a tour of Castletown House. We were delighted when we found out we didn't have to walk down, particularly because we were all exhausted after our Results celebrations the night before. I think that was the first time that I was glad to see it was raining! When we got there, we split into our class groups for our tour. Our tour guide was lovely and she told us lots of interesting stories about the history of Castletown House. She even told us about how she can sometimes feel the presence of spirits in the house! After the tour we stood on the steps outside the house and took a photo. I really enjoyed our trip to Castletown. :-) 

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