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As part of the mini company programme in the school we compete in two competitions throughout the year; Dublin City Enterprise Board and the Junior Achievement Company Programme
I was lucky enough to get selected to represent the school at the Leinster Regional Finals at the latter competition after getting through the initial round for which I had to send in an Executive Report.
This report was basically divided into six sections that outlined my business which was a financial blog ‘Financial Expresso’-A condensed shot of Financial, Economic and Entrepreneurial news- www.financialexpresso.blogspot.ie.
Once I got through that round, it was off to the regional finals which was held in Chartered Accountants House on Pearse Street and hosted by Pioneer Investments who are the asset management division of UniCredit Group, one of Europe’s leading banking groups.
This part of the competition consisted of an interview/interrogation and a four minute presentation. I found that it went well, because before you went to the interview you got to go to a mentor crash course and the people there were very helpful in pointing out the potential pitfalls that the judges might pick up on in the interview.
The interview and the PowerPoint went really well. I got positive feedback from the people there and what more could you ask for…well to win I suppose.
The first company that got through (two companies’ progress to the national finals in Citi banks in May) was a good company. They sold biodegradable cups, like the ones which you get your takeaway coffee in, which had advertisements on them. Their business model was companies would pay them to advertise on their cups. A lot of start-up capital was invested into them, but regardless of the amount of money invested into a company you can still mess it up. The second company that got through was a self-help magazine.
I was disappointed not to get through but I will soldier on, grateful for the experience of the whole competition and I highly recommend it for the whole experience of doing an interview and a presentation in front of people. That experience is priceless
I would like to thank Ms Dempsey for attending the event and all her help preparing for it. I would also like to thank Ms Rachel O’Riordan who also helped me greatly with preparation for the event.
And as for Financial Expresso
As Del boy said “This time next year we will be millionaires!”
The Generation €uro Students’ Award is a competition for secondary schools organised by the Central Bank of Ireland and the European Central Bank.
The competition aims to help Transition Year students understand monetary policy and how it relates to the economy. Participants gain an insight into the role of a central bank by learning about the function of monetary policy instruments, in particular interest rate decisions.
The competition challenges Transition Year students to learn about monetary policy instruments, in particular interest rate decisions, and to simulate the role of the Governing Council of the ECB to determine the most appropriate interest rate for the euro area.
The competition comprises three separate rounds including an online quiz, an essay and a presentation by the finalists to a panel at the Central Bank of Ireland at the National Final in March 2014.
The team which we selected to represent the school consisted of
We got through to Round 2 and then submitted an essay which unfortunately didn’t make it through to the next round due to it being theoretically dense and not based on practice.
It was a great experience to learn about the running of a central bank and I would like to thank Mr Murphy for all his help and support with the project.
From Monday, 3rd March – Thursday, 6th March, an Irish film maker, Sean Power, came in to teach us about film making. On the first morning of the course, we were given a presentation about film making and the different pieces of equipment used in the production of a film.
Afterwards, we were split into six groups. As part of the course, each group was given the chance to make their own film. The making of these films was definitely the highlight of the course.
The first thing each group did was come up with an idea for a film which every member agreed on. After that, roles were assigned to each member of the group. I was one of two scriptwriters in my group and I also made an appearance in a scene towards the end. The making of the film was very funny, and we certainly got a few strange looks off students walking by, when they saw us dressed up in Batman and Jesus costumes. To make the experience more memorable we were given a camera to take behind the scenes footage on set while filming. This meant that all the hilarious cut-outs and bloopers from every film were caught on camera!
We are hoping to get to see our films this week. Some of the teachers already have, and said they were brilliant. Sean Power was very helpful in the editing and putting-together of each film. Overall it was a great experience and definitely one which I will never forget. It’s safe to say that we are expecting to receive plenty of awards at the next Oscars.
On Wednesday 5th March we took part in Emmanuel at the Helix DCU. Emmanuel is a concert consisting of religious songs. We spent weeks preparing and learning songs in Religion class with Ms McNally who was a great help. We couldn’t have done it without her.
We all had to make our own way to the Helix. The first thing that we did was a quick run-through of the songs which we would be performing that night. Ian Callanan who wrote some of the songs was the conductor for the day. He wanted us all to tweet using #Emmanuel2014 in an effort to get Emmanuel trending on Twitter. He read out the funny tweets that students posted to make the long practice more enjoyable. Afterwards we had a workshop of chocolate-eating games. This was followed by a talk from a man called Greg who spoke about peace. Following the games, we were able to get ashes for Ash Wednesday if we wished.
After lunch, we had a full rehearsal of all of the songs we would be performing in the actual concert. This took quite a while and we were given a dinner of fish and chips afterwards. The concert took place after dinner. The family and friends of all involved were able to buy tickets to the performance. Before the concert began, Ian announced to all in the auditorium that #Emmanuel2014 was trending worldwide. The theme of Emmanuel this year was that of water, and there were many songs about water such as “Lead us to the Water”. The performance went very well and overall it was a great night and a great experience.
On Friday, 7th March we took part in a team-building exercise. The class was split into teams to play ‘Gold of the Desert Kings’. The game addresses the issue of effort versus productivity. In the game, we were placed in circumstances with limited time and resources and had to rely on our teams to achieve certain goals. The pressures we experienced in the game are similar to what we experience in our daily school lives.
After the game we learned about goal setting, making the most of resources we have, working as a team and planning/preparation. This was really useful and we will be able to use this in everyday life.
On Thursday 19th December, 4th years went on a day out to Dundrum Shopping Centre with Ms. O’Reilly and Ms. McNally. Everyone had to be up very early in the morning as the bus to Dundrum left our school at 8:00am sharp. The excitement of the day ahead kept everyone from being tired.
When we got to Dundrum we headed straight for the ice rink. When we had put on our ice skates we were allowed to go onto the ice. Many people used the helper-penguins to help them learn to ice skate and to keep them from falling! A lot of people also already knew how to ice skate and they tried to help the ones who couldn’t. There were many cases of people falling onto the ice but that was part of the learning process. When our time on the ice was up the majority of us wanted to stay longer as it was a lot of fun but we weren’t disappointed for long because of what we had in store next.
After the ice-skating, we headed for the Movies@Dundrum. There, we were treated to a private screening of ‘Elf’. The film was hilarious and the fact that we had the theatre all to ourselves made it even better. After the film, we were given some free time, to roam the shopping centre, where we looked in the different shops and got some lunch. It was the perfect time to finish off the Christmas shopping…or start it!
After our free time, we met back up and got on the bus to head home. It was a fantastic day. We all really enjoyed it. A great start to the Christmas holidays!
George Chelaru and Seán Dunican
Botanic Gardens Tour
On the 14th January we went to the Botanic Gardens. The topic of the tour was sustainability, focusing on the plants e.g. food supply, forestry, and the use of plants for medicine etc.
We started off with a fifteen minute talk on sustainability. Sustainability is the way we use our scarce resources so it benefits the majority and so that future generations have these same resources in the same quantity.
After the talk we split up into our class groups and went on a tour of the gardens.
Firstly we played a game to find out how sustainable our actions are in our everyday lives, such as turning off the light when you leave a room and not leaving the water run when you brush your teeth. Next we looked at some native Irish trees such as Scott’s Pine. There are over 800 different types of plants native to Ireland. We then looked at different types of oak trees. There was one that is used to make cork and one that was quite odd because it was the only species of oak tree to be evergreen.
Afterwards we made our way to the farming patch in the gardens. It will be totally organic in a few years’ time. Even though the farming patch and indeed the rest of the gardens have stopped using chemicals for the last number of years it takes some time to work its way out of the soil. While there we learned about the different types of compost they have in the gardens such as your average compost that is made from all the different green produce when it decays. They plant flowers that gather a lot of nitrogen and when they get big enough they mash them into the soil.
We also learned that they have introduced a bee farm into the area. We were told of the big problem of the bees dying out because of a certain type of pesticide being used. This has big implications for us because if the bees die out there will be nothing to pollinate the flowers and then the flowers will die and the amount of food in the world is reduced and the amount of oxygen in the air is reduced which is not good.
We then learned of the ways we should try and conserve all the different species of plant in the world even if they do not seem to have a purpose at this moment in time. Our tour guide made the point that the ewe tree which is poisonous to eat and was generally found in graveyards to stop farm animals going into the graves was found to have a chemical that is now used to kill and fight cancer.
We then made our way into the green house and were shown around it. The greenhouse is done in such a way that it resembles the rainforest. We saw plants such as the banana and the coffee plant. We saw a plant that is one of only five in the world. They do not know which gender this plant is because it has never flowered even though it has been in the gardens for over hundred years.
Lastly we saw some carnivorous plants such as the Venus Fly Trap and plants that use sweet smells to attract insects into them and then they drown. There were also plants which grow off other plants and plants that grow just out of the air such as Spanish moss.
On Wednesday 18th September, we had a guest speaker called Fiona from the Body Whys, the eating disorders association of Ireland. She spoke to us about disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and how that they can have a lasting impact on your health.
On Tuesday 3rd December, we went to the AXA Road Safety Roadshow held in the Crowne Plaza in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. We were first shown outside that the visibility of a truck driver is very poor. Some of us even got the chance to go inside the truck and see this first-hand.
We then went inside the Crowne Plaza where we were joined by more schools. We had a policeman, a fireman and a doctor all tell us their side of a car crash. Then we had the mother of a car crash victim tell us how her son died. This was very emotional. After this a man who had been in a motorcycle accident told us about the effects and dangers of speeding. He almost got killed and lost three years of his memory.
The AXA Road Safety Roadshow ended with a warning by the host to be careful driving on the roads. The roadshow was very eye-opening and informative. It was very worthwhile.
By George Chelaru
On Wednesday 22nd January, we had a talk from the organisation Accord to speak to Transition Year. There were two guest speakers who spoke to the two classes separately. The aim of the talk was to allow us to discuss relationships, and the different aspects of relationships. The talk was fantastic and it allowed us to openly discuss different matters.
We began with an introduction, going around the room saying our names followed by something we like and something we don’t like. This was a good ice breaker. We were then handed pieces of paper, upon which we could write suggestions of things we would like to discuss. One of the issues discussed was conflict in relationship. The information and personal stories the speaker gave, were very interesting, and really put into perspective the different scenarios in which conflict can arise in a relationship.
Finally, we were given another sheet of paper. On this sheet, we were to write any questions that we may have, that were not answered in the talk. She went through all of these questions and answered every single one of them.
I personally, along with everyone in Transition Year, really enjoyed this talk. It was fantastic in the information it provided, and putting to rest any queries we may have had. Everything was done confidentially, and this was something that was really stressed by the speaker. Ten out of ten for the speaker.
By Seán Dunican