Bright Minds of the Future Studying Engineering at Scoil Aonghusa

Bright Minds of the Future Studying Engineering at Scoil Aonghusa CNS.

There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.

Bill Nye

Last week Scoil Aonghusa CNS focused on all types of engineering at the school, this was part of a week-long festival of events taking place across the country to encourage young people, their teachers and parents to explore the world of engineering and to inspire the younger generation to consider engineering as a career. Children need to learn the value of engineering at a young age, they are naturally inquisitive and it is very important to encourage their quest for knowledge and help them realise the opportunities that are available to them. They are the bright minds of the future, the problem solvers and they can make a positive difference to the world, their home, doing everything from building houses or spaceships to helping engineer life saving medical devices and treatments. Engineering and Maths Education is a priority for the school as they prepare their students for second level pathways. The teachers recognise each child’s quest for knowledge and natural curiosity about life and the world around them, the STEM curriculum in the school aims to encourage the children’s creativity, curiosity and ability to tackle new challenges, the activities held during engineers week helped concrete this. Local Lego enthusiast Michael O’Sullivan visited the school this week with a fascinating display of his lego pieces and designs, he spoke to the children about his hobby and the intricate details of how the pieces were put together and the number of pieces and time involved in making each display. Children love lego and this was a wonderful way to encourage their creativity and concept development. On Tuesday Pat Daly, an engineer working with Gas Networks Ireland gave very informative presentations to the classes about his work as an engineer, he very graciously answered an array of questions from the inquisitive pupils. Teacher Mr Eoin Lehane organised a day of hands-on engineering in the school hall, the pupils investigated the centre of gravity, made constructions using tangrams, designed wind-up cars and hovercrafts and investigated how a tornado is formed. Pupils also did programming using Beebots and Scratch Programming. Learning how to code helps children learn to think outside the box and solve all sorts of problems. Coding requires a child to create and build something, its challenges them to look at the world differently and shows them that they can take a risk to build and design software that will get a computer to do what they want. Science education was also on the agenda this week, on Friday a spring lamb named Titan visited the classrooms, the children learned all about lamb husbandry and sheep production, they were particularly interested in lamb’s wool and the composition of their school uniform jumpers, the 5th and 6th classes then went on a field trip to Doneraile Secondary school where they did science experiments in their science laboratory. Over recent weeks the children have also been finishing their green school’s projects, this year’s theme was biodiversity and the children have been busy planting, building a bug hotel and learning how to encourage and protect biodiversity and how they can be better custodians of the world around them. Mr Eoin Lehane, the teacher in charge of STEM projects (science, technology, engineering, maths) highlighted the importance of practical projects to science and engineering education in the school and said “engineer’s week allowed the children to learn by doing, they are natural born engineers with bright inquisitive minds, doing practical projects like this encourages them to work in teams, collaborate and most importantly to be creative.”