Eircom Junior Spider Awards 2013

Fifth Class pupils are all delighted to find that we have been  shortlisted for an Eircom  Junior Spider Award in the Best School blog category. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 5th March in the RDS. If you are interested in viewing the other shortlisted projects click on this link


Growing Food without Soil

In January we started growing cress seeds without soil on the window in our classroom.The seeds were tiny but we put them in our seed sprouter and watered them. 

After two days they had germinated and we could see the tiny little roots.Then we waited for them to grow. We had to rinse they every morning so that they didn't dry out.

This is what the roots looked like when we turned the container on its side.

Finally after nine days we got the opportunity to taste them. Some people in our class thought that they were very peppery but others thought they were delicious


Exploring Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 - 1944) was a famous Russian artist who enjoyed painting abstract pictures. This video shows him in his studio in 1928.

This paintings of squares with concentric rings is very  popular with young people. They find it easy to replicate and enjoy the use of bright colours. We used it as inspiration for our art class. Here are some of the pieces we produced.


Brent Geese Migrate to Dublin

 From Bathurst Island to Bull Island

Brent geese are migratory geese who spend their lives moving between Dublin, Ireland and Bathurst Island in the north of Canada.They spend the summer in Bathurst Island where they breed and moult before returning to Ireland  via Greenland and Iceland every September.

At this time of year large flocks of Brent geese flying over our school are a familiar sight. They normally spend their time eating eel grass on the mud flats at Bull Island but at high tide they come inland to graze on the local greens.

Matthew a research ornithologist has spent several months monitoring the Brent geese that over winter in around Bull Island. He is particularly interested in social groupings amongst the geese. They hang around with their family members’ mothers, aunts, brothers and sisters just like you do. In his post Matthew mentioned that on the morning of on 11th November 2012 he counted 750 Brent geese in Kilbarrack at high tide.

Click here   if you would like to read more about Matthew’s study of our local geese.
More information on the Irish Brent goose can be found on this site  Irish Brent goose 


Catch the Wind

The very strong winds of the past week have provided us with the opportunity to observe and record wind related data. Wind is the movement of the air. As air moves for an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure it creates wind. Wind can be gentle as a breeze but it can also be so strong and powerful that it can blow down buildings and cause a great deal of damage.
A family had a miraculous escape when a strong gale caused a two hundred old elm tree to fall on their house last week.The tree is reputed to have weighed as much as twenty tonnes.
If you look carefully at the base of the trunk you can observe a circular black area, this indicates that decay had spread up through the center of the trunk. This decay would have weakened the tree and made it easier for the high winds to knock it over.

We are participating in Greenwave project in which students all over Ireland track the arrival of Spring in the country. We used their directions to make our own anemometer. The cups of the anemometer rotate with the wind and so gives us an idea od the speed or force of the wind. The first day we used it the strong crosswinds damaged one of the arms so we had to rethink our design.

This is a close up of our anemometer

Humans have harnessed the power of the wind to do work for us. Sailors use sails to capture the power of the wind and get their yachts moving. Nowadays the power of the wind is being used to generate electricity and create energy to heat our homes. Wind is a source of renewable energy but unfortunately it isn’t always reliable. Can you think why?

In the 19th century an Irishman Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort created a standardised system for measuring the force of the wind. This system is known as the Beaufort scale. Click here to find a drawing of the Beauford scale


St. Brigid

Today is the first of February It is the feast of St. Brigid. She is the patron saint of the women of Ireland. In Ireland the first of February is also the first day of spring. St.Bridget was a  very powerful woman in the early Christian church. She lived a life of prayer and service to the poor.
It is a tradition in Ireland to make St. Brigid’s crosses

These are the rushes that we used to make the St. Brigid's cross. They came from Co. Mayo. Rushes usually grow on damp wet ground.

  We bent the rushes into  crosses. The first cross was made by St.Brigid when she went to visit a chieftain and the floor was covered by rushes

This is the finished cross. We hung it on the wall of our classroom.