Fáilte & Welcome
Céad Míle Fáilte to all our readers, whether parent, student, teacher, past student or someone interested to find out about our fine College.
At the Leaving Certificate Level, Geography is an option subject and presently three quarters of students have opted to continue their study of this subject. The Leaving Certificate Geography course was revised in 2006 and currently the revised syllabus has a core, elective and option structure.
Each year, the State Exams Commission decides the fieldwork topics. They select five different topics, ranging from physical to economic geography, and the class select one. The field-trip for this academic year was to Portmarnock beach (a depositional beach) in April 2015.
The report booklet was then sent out to each school and this is where students write up the fieldwork. The booklet limits the report to a 1000 words and includes the headings for each part of the report. For these reasons, it is reasonably straight forward to complete….And that brings us to Tuesday 24th November, 2015!
The 6th year geography students have now taken their first step towards their Leaving Certificate exam by completing their Geographical Investigation write-up today which is worth 20% of their final exam.
Well done girls. Here's to 20% in the bag!! (Mr. Friel)
On the 11th of November the Fifth Year biology class went to the DIT College of Technology and Science. We were warmly welcomed by the head of Physics. The "How to Train Your Dragon" show was absolutely superb. The founder of the company showed us how science experiments can be fun and dangerous. She made acidic and basic solutions that kept on changing colour, even set fire to many hands using Hydrogen gas and washing up liquid and created minor explosions and bangs.
After the show we were invited to go to the biology research labs where we examined our own cheek cells as well as the cells of a lady who lived in the 1920s. The lady died of cancer and her cells have been distributed to labs all around the world for research purposes. Apparently there is no cancer research lab in the world that does not use her cells. It was really extraordinary to see the lab and microscopes.
Last but not least we examined the job of a Biomedical Scientist. The Professor showed the class all sorts of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi, most of these which would give you food poisoning. The micro-organisms were grown in large colonies on agar petri dishes. One of the colonies we examined was E.coli and it smelt revolting (well it does come from the intestines!!)
The Arrival of the New Poly Tunnel - Horticulture 4.2 & 4.1
Over the duration of the summer the construction of the new poly tunnel beside the school gym was completed. This was fantastic news for the Transition Year Horticulture classes as it meant we could plant whatever flowers, herbs or vegetables we wanted, knowing they would survive the cold winter ahead. Raised beds were built into the tunnel as well as the surrounding area. These will stop weeds from coming up through the soil and killing or causing damage to the plants. An irrigation system has also been put into place to help water the plants in the tunnels during school holidays, but we have not had the chance to use or test this yet.
Ms. McCool and Ms. Wards Transition Year classes have been busy working on watering, weeding, and pruning in order to keep the school grounds and the surrounding area looking well. Ms. McCool’s class are currently focusing on revamping the small courtyard beside room 10, in time for the school musical. We have been planting up pots in the poly tunnels to place into the courtyard in the future. Ms. Laffoy and Mr. McCartney have even gotten involved in planting and watering down in the poly tunnels with the help of the x-hose.
It’s great being able to use the poly tunnel as a classroom. Horticulture is definitely one subject you have to be willing to get your hands dirty for... with the exception of the odd spider!
Georgia Cullen & Niamh Brennan 4.2
On Wednesday 11th of November, both of the 5th Year Home Economics classes went to the Ashtown Food Research Centre. We had to get up very early to catch the 8:20 am train going to Ashtown, where we all (very comically) trekked up a short country road until we reached the Teagasc Food Research Centre.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly group who told us of the various aspects of the research centre. We began our tour with a visit to a marine biologist who was conducting studies about “functional foods” such as the use of seaweed in foods to reduce high blood pressure. The next stop was a very stimulating visit with Dr.Crofton who explained in great detail how our senses have a great impact on what we desire to eat and what we do not! It was all very interesting. I think it is fair to say the highlight of our time with Dr.Crofton was when she conducted a ‘Triangle Test’ with us, where we had to determine the difference between three biscuits by tasting them!
After the sensory science activity, we paid a brief but explosive visit to a Fungi Research Lab where we met a flamboyant man with a great passion for fungi. He was a ‘Fun-guy’ (ha!). He broadened our knowledge of the good, the bad and the weird characteristics of fungi. It was very intriguing. At the end of his presentation, he decided to carry out a ‘Russian Roulette’ experiment with us using hydrogen peroxide, iodine and washing up liquid that resulted in a massive eruption of froth for one unlucky student!
The final part of our visit was a very ‘hands on’ experience with raw meat. We were brought in to help produce sausages and burger patties. We had a very brief but aggressive encounter with a sausage machine that seemed to spit the sausage meat out whilst a few desperate students struggled to contain the meat in the sausage skin! That was unfortunately our final stop at the centre.
It would be an understatement to say that we had a fantastic time there! Shout out to Teagasc for welcoming the 5th Year Home Economics students of 2015-2016 from Dominican College!!!
Sarah Garrett and Aimee McGrath (5th Year, Dominican College).5th Year
Day 3: As part of Science Week, Third Year students took part in a forensic science workshop . They focused on Dactyloscopy this year, examining the various ridge patterns found on fingerprints, enlarging their own prints using balloons and had fun identifying their own unique patterns. Congratulations to Erica Boyle 3.2 and Anca Zgarcili 3.1 who won the fingerprint challenge.