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Sligo Grammar School offers Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural Science to Leaving Cert higher level. We also offer Applied Maths which many students feel complements their studies in physics.
SCIFEST 2023 AWARD WINNER
Well done to Sophie Swann who has won the Royal Society of Chemistry Award at this year’s SciFest. She won the award for her project in which she did a study of microorganisms present on natural and artificial sports/playing surfaces. Sophie is a hockey player and this study was particularly interesting to her as she has played on a variety of different playing surfaces over the years. She concentrated her study on Astro Turf and natural grass pitches. She compared the populations of fungi, yeasts, moulds and bacteria on both types of playing pitches to see which one posed the greater risk of infection for players. She used contact agar plates to culture the microorganisms and, with the aid of Aideen Considine from ATU, was able to identify the Microorganisms present. The results revealed that Astro Turf is safer than natural grass and has the added advantage that it can be cleaned.
Sligo Grammar School Science Department took full advantage of National Science Week. The students from across all class groups got involved in scientific activities for the week. TY students attended a Chemistry workshop while first year students learnt how to use chromatography to make coloured hair which they put on pictures of trolls! Second and third years were given QR codes to scan and solve a puzzle. The QR code brought them to an element in the Periodic Table of Elements. They then had to find the symbol for the element and discover an interesting fact about it. When they put the QR codes in the correct order it spelt a word, and there were eight words to be discovered in total. The 6th year physics students were challenged to solve conundrums with prizes going to the students who solved most. Science Week provided an opportunity for the students to link their studies with real life and make science more relevant. Thanks to the Science teachers for organising all the activities.
SCIENCE WEEK 2021
Science week was marked in Sligo Grammar School with a range of activities highlighting the important role that science plays in todays world. Seniors and juniors were given riddles and dingbats to solve during the week. The junior winners were Ruaraidh McAllister, Ajay Poonia and Abigail Montgomery. And senior winners were Fionn McAllister, Ben Mead and Roseanna Callan. TYs competed in a Science Quiz using the on-line platform, Kahoot while the whole school was invited to get posing for the Science Photo Booth! In class the TYs and fifth years had the opportunity to meet and handle a variety of reptiles. It was a unique learning experience for them. The 2nd years attended a webinar entitled “Have I got Your Attention?” which was delivered by Dr. Yvonne Lang from the School of Science in Sligo IT. The talk dealt with issues surrounding the impact technology has on our lives, from communication to climate change. First years relaxed with some mindful science colouring pages while older science students created Science-themed displays, one celebrating women in Science and another celebrating the worst ever science jokes!!
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE WORKSHOP
On Friday 15th October 6th year Ag Science students visited Tatti Joaker Community farm for a soil workshop with Dr. Agnieszke Piwowarczyk, an environmental scientist and soil expert. The workshop provided students with a practical hands-on opportunity to investigate how soil management can influence water quality and how best to prevent nutrients entering our rivers and streams. After the workshop the 6th years were taken on a tour of Aidan Gillen’s farm. While there they helped prepare a section of land for planting garlic, and the students developed a new appreciation of the work and effort required to grow food organically. The workshop was funded by the Community Water Development Fund and facilitated by Sligo Environmental Network. Thanks to their teacher Sandra Tiernan and to farm owner, Aidan Gillen.
As part of the Agricultural Science programme for Leaving Cert., our Ag. students and teachers went on “walkabout” around the grounds of SGS. This year the theme they are to investigate and research is “Improving Sustainability in Irish Agriculture”. They would normally visit a local farm and study different aspects of life on the land, but due to Covid-19 they are unable to carry out farm trips or attend the National Ploughing Championships. However, not to be outdone by the pandemic, our students and their teachers are making the most of the school grounds and science labs to conduct their research. Sligo Grammar School is lucky to have large and varied grounds, so, without leaving the property the class can successfully carry out their research. This includes comparing reseeded and permanent pastures, taking and testing soil samples, collecting and studying earthworms and using the labs to carry out experiments on aspects of the natural and farming environment. Many of the students from farming backgrounds will also carry out studies on their home farms, bringing data back to the school for further work. Well done to our Ag. Science teachers for coming up with creative ways to continue as normal despite Covid-19 restrictions!
Despite Lockdown, five 5th year students have maintained contact via technology to continue work on their CanSat project. The team is made up of Michael Bezborodov, Team Leader and Structure and design Engineer, Jeremiah Egberongbe,Electronics and Circuitry Engineer, Shammas Huq, Software Systems Engineer, Jacob Craig, Community Outreach and Public Relations and Max Vandergrijn, Finance and Funding. The students are entering the European Space Agency CanSat competition, run by ESRO Ireland in conjunction with CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and the Institutes of Technology. The SGS CanSat is designed to record GPS, Temperature, Pressure, Humidity and UV Light Orientation. It uses a 1km-range antenna to transmit and receive data. The team has set up a dedicated Website for their project as well as Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Support their Social Media Accounts by visiting them below:
You can also watch a video about the project on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bim7D_nbKyg
TYs this year followed the National Pollinator Plan as part of their Science and Sustainable Living studies. The front lawn has been let grow wild as part of the National Pollinator Plan and the bees have loved it! The beds in the Herm garden are coming along nicely and science teacher, Sandra Tiernan has put together a video tour of her own bee-and-bird friendly garden for her students and colleagues to see how the National Pollinator Plan works in domestic gardens. Watch it below. Other teachers have bought into the idea, leaving wild areas in otherwise perfectly manicured (?) gardens!
Below are photos of the wild lawn in SGS , Ms Hynes’ and Mr Stauntons “wild area” in their garden and Ms Tiernans resident robin and her eggs.
Before the school closed due to Covid 19, our Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition finalists had a busy few weeks. Our “Angus girls”, who are currently rearing their 5 Angus calves, visited the University of Limerick and Dovea Genetics in Thurles to help them to explore their theme ‘Improving Irish Angus genetics and their benefits’. At the University of Limerick the girls had the opportunity to meet again with Dr Ken Byrne, lecturer in Animal production, and also meet Dr Sean Fair, lecturer in Animal reproduction and genetics. The girls got lots of information that will aid them with their project. At Dovea Genetics the girls had the opportunity to discuss the desirable traits of the Irish Angus breed. They also had the opportunity to enter the lab and experience first-hand how Artificial Insemination straws are made. The girls had a great day!!!
Despite the six 5th year students being unable to meet up for 9 weeks, since Lockdown began, they have been working as hard as ever, as a team, on their project for the Certified Irish Angus beef schools competition. The lockdown caused many potential obstacles for the girls, but with their strong teamwork and love for this competition, they managed to continue with their weekly meetings on Zoom – to continue planning and organising some great things for their project. As part of their journey in the competition the girls wanted to fundriase for “Make A Wish, Ireland.” Emma explains; “We decided to choose “Make A Wish, Ireland” because becoming one of the five finalists in the Certified Irish Angus Beef schools competition was our wish and it came true! We have had the opportunity to experience so many amazing things in this competition and we are so grateful, that’s why we’d like to give the opportunity to a child with an illness to have their wish come true.” Unfortunately due to Coronavirus, their planned fundraising events and ideas were postponed, but that didn’t stop the girls from pursuing their fundraising goals! They set up a GoFundMe page and so far they have raised a fantastic €1420. The girls would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who kindly donated! As a part of the competition the students are rearing five calves. The calves recently went out onto fresh grass and are now as happy as can be! The girls are missing their visits to the five Irish Angus calves, but they know they are being well looked after by Johnathan Harte, to whom they would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ for continuing to look after their calves so well, during these hard times. The girls look forward to reuniting again when it is safe to do so!
Congratulations to 6 TY students from Sligo Grammar School, Genevieve Cox, Laura West, Rebecca Harte, Rosie Wright, Sarah Cunningham, and Emma O’Gorman, who were chosen as one of the finalist groups in the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition, 2019. After a very rigorous selection process, the two teams from SGS were chosen to work together on the next, and final, stage of the competition. The girls will be given five 6-month Angus Cross calves each to rear to slaughter over the next two years. The rearing of the calves will coincide with the girls’ Leaving Cert Ag. Science project. After the two years the students will present their project and the final winner will be selected at the National Ploughing Championships of that year.
The girls travelled to Tipperary last week to meet their calves and the next stage will begin at the National Ploughing Championships 2019. Well done on this great win! Thank you, Ms Higgins!
Michael Bezborodov and James Kilcoyne from TY did Sligo Grammar School proud in this year’s SciFest Competition. The boys presented a project which explored using a Parabolic Reflector to increase Internet speeds. Their work earned them two awards, the Discover Space Award (ESERO Ireland) and the Maths in Science Award. Their teacher, Rita Shannon was a great help to the boys and bagged herself the Discover Science Teacher Award for her efforts! Well done to the team!
On March 12th Senior Agricultural Science students took time out to visit two working farms in sligo. The 5th year Ag Science students got a chance to see the Wood-Martin’s farm, Woodville, a local sheep farm and a local dairy farm owned by TJ and Chris Tuffy. These field trips are an essential part of their course as they allow students to get first-hand experience of what life is like on the farm. Although some of the students are from farming backgrounds, many are not, so visits like these are very important. Thanks to their teachers for taking the time to organise this and to the farmers for welcoming the students onto their farms.
TY and 5th year students who are entering The Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition 2019 were delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Ms Ann Derwin who was Chief Economist in the Dept. of Agriculture & Food, 2010 – 2015 and Assistant Secretary Corporate Affairs (Dept. of Agriculture & Food) 2015 – 2017. Ms Derwin spoke to the girls about the place of women in Irish farming and the issues surrounding succession and inheritance with regard to wives/daughters in Irish Agriculture.
During Science Week the science teachers organised science-related activities for all junior classes. First Years had a scavenger hunt around the school where they had to find an array of different things, ranging from a hairy plant leaf to a feather. A poster competition was organised for the Second Years. The brief: To inform us about a scientist of their choice, including their birthplace, their most important scientific work and the dates on which it was done. The posters are on display outside the Chemistry and Physics Labs. Third year students had to scan QR codes to find the symbol of an element from the Periodic Table and if they got it right a word would be revealed. Nine Sixth year students took part in the ISTA science quiz in the IT and although they didn’t place, they acquitted themselves well and were a credit to their school. Well done!
The science department in the school is a very active one, reflecting the increasingly important role the sciences play in education and life today. Thanks to our dedicated science teachers for organising the Science Week activities.
This year our TY students entered the SciFest Science Fair held in Sligo IT. The SciFest programme aims to encourage a love of science, technology and maths through inquiry-based learning. Students are asked to present and display their scientific investigations, which cover a huge range of areas of interest. Three TY science projects from Sligo Grammar School entered and Callum Maguire received a “highly commended” for his project investigating “The Reflection of Light Off Wet and Dry Tarmac”.
Chloe Lopez’s project asked an interesting question: “Is There a Connection Between a Person’s Nationality and Their Willingness to Solve Problems?”
Dawn McCauley and Liam Kearney presented their investigation into “Invasive Plant Species Along the Garavogue River”
This is only the second year that SGS has entered the SciFest Fair and our students have found it very worthwhile.
Well done all!
NAME THAT SCIENTIST!
AND THE WINNERS ARE…..
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ALL!!!
AND ANOTHER ONE FROM EARLIER IN THE TERM….
My rings tell such a story
Of years past with gracious glory
Where I live is where I stay
From that spot I cannot stray
From my home man takes me
So they can erect another home, you see
Many others bore into my sides
These things that crawl and things that glide
I weep with beauty or stand with grace
Every year I shed myself to nourish my place
What am I?
And the answer is….
I am a tree.
My rings are produced every year, just one, and how large it is tells a story of how that particular year was. Where I grow is where I stay, as I cannot pick up and move.Men cut me down to make their own homes, and creatures such as birds and squirrels live in me. When I shed my leaves they put nutrients into the ground which keep it fertile.
The new Junior Cycle science programme includes the study of space. To introduce this subject to our 1st and 2nd year students, the SGS Science Department organised a special “Earth and Space Day”. “Sirius”, a company formed scientists who had formerly worked in the Armagh Planetarium, visited the school and presented a 3D show exploring the many fascinating aspects of space. They discussed the importance and benefits of space exploration as well as the dangers associated with it. They also gave the students an idea of what the work of an astronaut is like. This subject is always a fascinating one for students and the 1st and 2nd years really enjoyed the presentation. Thanks to the scientists from “Sirius” for their show and lecture, and also thanks to our Science teachers who organised the visit.
Visits to Sligo IT to hear Science Lectures
The Junior science students had a lecture and demonstration about Maritime Ecology.
THE 2016- 2017 SCIENCE YEAR
2016 17 was a busy year for our science students.
Junior Cert students have been busy this year doing a long list of experiments in biology, physics and chemistry. The written reports they do on these experiments will account for 10% of their JC science marks.
In the final term our Ty students took part in the SciFest competitions. This competition endeavours to encourage interest in all the sciences as well as in IT and Mathematics.
There were several groups from SGS taking part and they all found the experience to be very beneficial. Our Science teachers hope to enter SciFest again next year.
During February Senior students went to Sligo IT to hear about the life and achievements of Irish scientist Robert Boyle.
Paddy Bird from 5th Year has done the school proud as a prizewinner in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2017. In the finals of the competition Paddy emerged with a fantastic third place overall in the senior individual category of his group – the Chemical, Physical and Technology Category. His project was to develop and produce a special filter incorporated with graphene to be used to purify contaminated water. The idea has great potential for use in countries around the world where water contamination is a serious issue. Paddy is hoping to further develop his idea – and maybe make a real contribution to humanity! Many thanks to Paddy’s science teacher, Ms. Tiernan, for all her help and encouragement.
During Science Week our students were invited to solve some science problems which were posted around the school. Check the quiz out below.
And below are the winners of the quiz.
Earlier in the term Science students were also winners in the Senior Regional Science Quiz.. Well done to Enola Baravaeva, Jun Sung Jeon and Andrew Wood -Martin on their award.
In January the Leaving Cert Chemistry students went to NUI Maynooth to do their Leaving Cert experiments in the University Laboratories.