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Teacher: Deirdre Knox
Year: Transition year ( mixed ability)
Subject: Science

In order to use both IT and traditional science equipment I proposed to the girls that we would prepare a simple programme for 5th class science and the girls would teach the fifth class science for a day.

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Image of Transition year student working with  5th Class primary students.

Lesson 1: I divided the girls into different groups and asked them to choose 3 experiments (chemistry, physics, biology), simple enough to present to the primary girls. We used the new Primary Science syllabus, and science books for reference.

Lesson 2. The girls typed out their proposed experiments and some managed to make a power point presentation.

Lesson 3. We ran through some of the experiments in the lab including the use of Datalogging equipment with the iMAc .

Lesson 4. We repeated a class similar to lesson 3. During this class one student in each group had to present one experiment to the others who would evaluate their performance.


Lesson 5. Powerpoint presentations were completed.

Lesson 6. Students typed out quizzes, questionnaires, wordsearches, crosswords on their experiments.

Lesson 7. Plan and preparation for the day.

Image of Transition year student working with  5th Class primary students.

Lesson 8 THE DAY. Fifth class had been invited by us to come to the school on Thursday 17 May 2001. 30 students and teacher arrived at 9. 30 am and were welcomed by the students. We divided the class into 5 groups of 6. Each group was taken by a student to be 'taught' the experiments. The groups rotated from experiment to experiment and then to the computer room to see the Power Point presentation. We had a break in the computer room at 11.15 am and then revisited the experiments in the lab again. We finished up at 12 .45 pm. The fifth class had a great time and the transition year also had great fun. It was considered to be a success.

Evaluation. The project was a success on the day, and it provided great experience for the transition years. The 5th class enjoyed themselves and the teacher was impressed with the girls. However, the project itself was beset with difficulties. (i) The computer room was not available at all times when I needed it. (ii) The transition years missed a lot of time due to work experience, choir etc. (iii) Many students did not have science for junior Cert and had no interest in the project.( these would be academically challenged students) (iv) The Imac in the lab. gave a lot of trouble and eventually refused to run the datalogging equipment two days before the project. (v) Datastudio would only run on the staff room PC. We did manage to borrow this PC on the day. But at this stage the students had had not enough practice using Datastudio and as a result the heart rate monitor did not work at all. This was most disappointing as it was to be the highlight of the day to give a print out of heart beat to the children. (vi) We brought the group to the computer room to use the Internet and Encarta. The children were more interested in drawing and messing at this stage. (vii) Equipment which was to come from PASCO did not arrive ( My contact with PASCO moved to better things!!!!) (viii) The transition year group of 32 was much too big to manage and absenteeism was high. (ix) The 5th class group was also too big (35)

Conclusion The project would have worked even better on the day if we had less projects, more physical space i.e. spread over two labs. And if we had run it over three days in the year. It was a success in that all enjoyed themselves on the final day but I would do it differently the next time.

Image of TY students and 5th class students.
Image of 5th class students  on PCs.



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