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Céad Míle Fáilte to all our readers, whether parent, student, teacher, past student or someone interested to find out about our fine College.

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Good Luck to Orla Gartland

Good Luck to Orla Gartland in the final of the Doodle4Google competition. Orla was a county finalist in the 2nd Year section.
The public have now voted on their favourite doodle from each Year group and then the overall winner will be selected by Dennis Hwang, Google’s chief doodler, and revealed at Google's prize-giving event on March 2nd 2009. All county winners will be invited to attend this event.
Below is Orla’s design and her rationale behind it.

Ireland Unfolds
My doodle "Ireland Unfolds" represents the change taken place in Ireland 's history. The G and two Os represent traditional Irish sport and music, and with the coming of the Celtic Tiger (lower case g) Ireland underwent a transformation and became a powerful, independent state within the European Union

Fun Run for the Simon Community Raises €2500

Congratulations to all those who participated in and sponsored the Fun Run last October in aid of the Simon Community.  Class 3.2 undertook it as part of their fundraising for their action project and we were the school who raised the most amount of money! 2,500 euros!! We were presented with a trophy for our achievement.

Mini Med 2009 - Susan Clinton's Account



Susan Clinton was one of two very lucky students who were chosen to take part in the Royal College of Surgeons Mini med programme. This programme gives students an opportunity to experience what it is like to study medicine.

Below is Susan's account.

Mini Med 2009

Upon applying for a position in the Mini Meds programme my main claim in justifying the position was that by completing the course I would confirm my desire to study medicine. By completing this course I not only discovered a predilection for pursuing a career in medicine but also the specific courses I would like to study after the Leaving Cert.

The extensiveness of the program was daunting purely from looking at the time table; there was so much to be learned in one week. The lectures were designed to give each of the 150 students a flavour of what it would be like to work in the occupations, each lecturer attempting to sway students to that career path. After being divided into five groups we were given an overview of the course for the week, starting, of course, with a Health and Safety Lecture. After this the real program began, beginning with my favourite lecture of the day; "A Whistletop Tour of Human Anatomy". The lecturer was creative and humorous, and because everyone had worked to receive their placement in the program it was possible to do everything at a fast pace, no-one falling behind. The event I had not anticipated on the first day was what the timetable described as "Calisthenics". It was only when I was standing in the gym playing dodge ball that my group and I realised we were one of two groups given the opportunity to trial the college gym.

We were to be in the main RCSI building by St. Stephen's Green on Monday and Friday, and for the rest of the week would be in Beaumont hospital for lectures and practical sessions. The highlights of the second day for me were the Clinical Skills session and the Cardiac Arrest lecture. The main reason as to why some lectures were unanimously preferred over others was because of the enthusiasm and creativity used to descried each course. This particular lecturer gave cream eggs to those who could identify ways of decreasing one's risk of having a heart attack! The Clinical Skills allowed us to learn some of the basic services conducted by medical staff; we learned suturing, how to take blood samples and how to insert tubes for food for those who can't chew food. The skills were all learned using simulators, such as a prosthetic arm with a "blood supply" and clear plastic torso.

Wednesday was the most interesting day of the week. We were introduced to a patient who was to have her gall bladder removed and then seeing the surgery through a live feed from the endoscope used by the surgeon during the laparoscopic surgery. Because it was laparoscopic surgery we were able to see exactly what the surgeon was looking at while performing the operation. We also seen a colonoscopy, were introduced to patients who had had kidney transplants a few years ago, and were given a lecture on medical research in relation to forensic science.

Thursday was our last day in the hospital, the highlight of which was the lecture on orthopaedic surgery; bone repair, reconstruction and the treatment of bone cancers. The most disheartening section of every lecture was when hearing of the entry routes to the courses i.e. 560 points in the Leaving Cert. Later than day we informed about the HPAT entry test into medicine which when combined with points received in the Leaving Cert now gives medical students a maximum target of approx 860 points; one must pass the HPAT and for every five points gained in the Leaving Cert students receive one point from the HPAT. It is not currently compulsory, not being piloted yet, but will be compulsory by the time TY students of this year complete the exam.

After five blindingly fast days it was the last day of the course. The most interesting lectures were those on cranial injuries and student study habits. The majority of the lectures were given in the form of PowerPoint presentations and included graphic photographs of various injuries, scans and diagrams. The MRI scans used in this particular presentation were fascinating as they demonstrated the frailty of the brain and why some injuries that appear to be more serious than others are in fact not so. The study habits lecture was effective as a test was conducted by each student to see what their strongest learning point was; use of visuals, aural, reading/writing and kinesthetics. It would be useful to know which of the above are one's strong points in terms of revising before exams.

The last event of the day was the award ceremony where students received prizes for suturing, microbiology and various other activities. Four other students and I received awards for taking accurate readings of a patient's blood pressure using non-electric manual equipment. At 4:30 the program was closed, ending one of the most informative, enthralling experiences of my student life and the best experience of TY thus far.


6th Year Higher Level Maths Teams @ the Dublin Maths Quiz

The atmosphere in St Andrew's was electric and intense. It really felt like the competition was on!! At one point during the heated contest, team Dominican was joint first on the leader board. But we were surrounded by fierce competition! Although our team fell short of victory, we were glad that another all-girls school won
the cup.

Participating on the quiz was a fantastic experience for the team and very good revision the coming Leaving Certificate. Well done to all the students involved, EimearDuff, Nabeeha Moolan, Jessica Gunnoo and Aoife Courtney.

Young Scientists Exhibition - Amy Lyons, Megan O'Brien and Ciara McDonnell

  Winner - Forensic's Section

Earprints are a form of profiling and are used to indentify people the same way as fingerprints, for example when they are found at a crime scene.

There is a debate among scientists about the accuracy of earprints.  Earprinting technology is popular among scientists in European countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to indentify and prosecute people.  However scientists in countries such as the USA and Australia are convinced that earprints are not unique to each person.  We found this debate very interesting and felt it would be an interesting subject to research and experiment on.

A random sample of thirty students from our school volunteered to have their earprints taken.  We compared the earprints under similarities and differences and recorded our findings.  We took earprint samples from three families and compared them to see if there is a hereditary aspect to the formation of the earprint.  It is a known fact that fingerprints are not hereditary.  Both of these investigations helped us determine how unique our ear prints are, compared to our fingerprints. 

To take an ear print we used a glass template, fingerprinting powder, latent fingerprinting brush, roller, wide fingerprint lifting tape and card.

We contacted Chris O'Connor, a fingerprinting and ear printing specialist, in the Forensic Science Laboratories at the Garda Headquarters and John Fox in the Dublin Institute of Technology.  We also contacted professors in DCU, NUI Maynooth, Trinity College and the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.  We have a contact in DCU library who gave us full access to the books, files and journals based on genetics and forensic science stored in the library.  This was an invaluable source of information during the course of our project.

During our project we visited the Forensic Science Laboratories in Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park.  We met with Chris O'Connor and he demonstrated how to lift earprints and fingerprints.  We practiced taking each others earprints and fingerprints until we had perfected the technique.  He recommended and loaned us a very useful book ‘Earprint Identification' by Cor Van Der Lugt.  We also gave us a poster showing the various parts of the ear and tutorial books that are used to teach crime scene investigators about earprint recovery and analysis.  

On the basis of our project we have found ear prints to be unique but not as unique as fingerprints.  Within families there are certain hereditary similarities such as the lower crus of the anithelix.