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St Declan’s College would like to congratulate Stephen Cushen on his achievement in this year’s Young Scientist Exhibition where he came third overall in the Junior Individual Award.
Stephen explains about his project below:
“ The inspiration behind the project was to build a small system that could control home electrical appliances from a smart phone or tablet device from anywhere in the world. The project involved building an electrical circuit on a micro-computer called a raspberry Pi and writing a program that sent electrical current on from the Raspberry Pi to an extension socket that had set of lights plugged in. I spent some time writing and testing the code to switch the lights On or Off. Once that was working, I wrote an APP to run on smart phones and tablets that could communicate with the Raspberry Pi and switch the lights On or Off remotely. I also set a timer on the switch.
We are all very proud of Stephen and we hope that our students can be inspired by him by developing their interest in science and the world around us. Well done!
After an hour long journey, we arrived at Causey Farm to be greeted by Donnacha and Ella, our two guides. After their warm welcome, an ever-enthusiastic Colm Feeney willingly took a journey on a large pig; he was unfortunate in his attempts to place himself on the pig.
We were taken to an old farmhouse, where we made appauling attempts to show our inner Michael Flatley but were still met with a chorus of clapping after we finished. We then went to milk the cow, Honey. Then the few who dared drank the milk.
We walked through a field of nettles to be greeted by a big cornfield. The corn was at least 7 foot tall and we had to navigate our way through the maze that was carved through it. After worming our way through the maze we went back to the farmhouse where Donnacha showed us how to make brown bread. In twos we made a loaf of brown bread each – a first for most of us! After that we had our lunch on haystacks.
At the entrance to the corn maze. They haven’t been seen since.
After finishing our lunch we tried to play the bodhrán. If we dropped our bodhrán sticks we were made dance. Last but definitely not least we made our way to the bog in a trailer hitched to a tractor. We walked through a forest to be greeted by the bog. Donnacha told us some interesting facts about the bog on the journey. Such as that bogs are made from 98 % water and that not even bacteria can survive in such circumstances because there isn’t suitable living conditions. After jumping in the bog and getting extremely mucky we cleaned ourselves in a freezing cold lake!
We collected our brown bread and made our way home after a great day in Causey Farm.
Ryan Baskerville, David Langan.
21st June 2014
It is with profound sadness that the Management, Staff, Students and Parents of St Declan’s College have learned of the tragic death of Ricky Osagie (1 Rice), a first year student. Our sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Ricky.
A Critical Incident Response Plan has been put in place. Procedures are in place to ensure that all in the school community affected by this loss will be given help to cope with this tragedy. On our return to school, counselling support will be available to students and a prayer service will take place.
Our prayers and support are with everyone affected by this tragedy.
Peer2Peer is a drug awareness programme where four TY students from St Declan’s were trained to talk to first year students about drugs and addiction. Our six week training programme took place in Patrician College in Finglas. In the programme we learned about all the different types of drugs ranging from alcohol and tobacco to cannabis which is the gateway drug onto higher classed drugs such as heroin and cocaine. We also then had a crash course in teaching to get the information across in an interesting, clear and concise way.
We then had a four class programme with the first year classes in which we taught them about the information we had learned. We were not a campaign to say yes or no to drugs but we were simply giving the facts and busting any of the myths or misconceptions which the lads might have had.
I found it to be a very fascinating experience in terms of learning the information on drugs, but also the skill of teaching and how to present to a group of people and not sound like a babbling idiot and have lost the room in a millisecond.
On Wednesday 15th of January, we had a talent show for RESPECT, which is a charity based on the Navan Rd which caters for the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. We have a RESPECT committee in the school. It is an inter-school committee which is made up of students from St Dominics and ourselves.
The show was hosted by Bryan O’Sullivan, who was very funny and entertaining. The judging panel consisted of Mr Burke from our school, Ms Brannigan from Dominic’s, and special guest Caroline Boyce.
List of acts:
1) Jordan Reilly opened the show with his electric guitar.
2) Roxanna, Nicole, and Emma sang a mash up of pop songs.
3) Andrew Morrison played an acoustic piece.
4) Robin Murphy sang ‘You’ve got the love’ by Florence and the Machine.
5) Sean, Ryan and Conor sang, played guitar, and played piano (‘Love Me Again’ by John Newman).
6) Lucy and Stephanie sang ‘Radioactive’ by Imagine Dragons.
7) Kevin Boland played tin whistle – ‘Inis Oirr’ and ‘The Copperplates’
8) Clarissa, Maria and Sarah sang ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’ by The Script.
9) Kevin, Aidan and Gavin performed ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster The People.
10) Dominic’s Choir sang ‘We go together’ by Grease.
While the judges decided first to third place, the raffle took place. We were also entertained by performances from The Cascades and Spielberg, and a surprise performance by Sean, Conor, Ryan, Gavin, Aidan and a host of other Transition Years.
After that third to first place was announced. In third place was Kevin Boland in second place were Clarissa, Maria and Sarah. The overall winners of the talent show were Sean, Conor and Ryan.
We all had a brilliant night and raised a lot of money for RESPECT while doing so.
As part of our religion course we all split into groups of six. Each group was given €60 each to spend on food that would last families in need over the Christmas period. Some people went to the local supermarkets and some people went to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. One group went to Tesco Clearwater and Tesco kindly donated €20 to spend in store. One group stayed behind to get the hampers ready. The hampers were sent to families associated with St. Declan’s who find it hard throughout the Christmas period. The money was fundraised by the teachers and students. We had a non-uniform day and everybody brought in €2 each and whatever was left over was donated to S.V.P. When all the hampers were packed, Ms Hedderman brought them down to the S.V.P drop-in centre. It was a good experience to have taken part in and to know that you have helped someone in need.
By: Aaron Curley
RESPECT is an Irish Registered Charity, responsible for fundraising projects for people with Intellectual Disabilities of all ages within the Daughters of Charity Service in the Dublin area. It has a centre called Weavers 101 which is a drop-in centre for people with Intellectual Disabilities.
As a privilege of being a member of the Respect Committee, I along with the other members went to visit the centre on Friday 7th March. I found it to be a very eye-opening experience. The people who use the services were very interesting and were amazing at art, so much so that they have an annual art auction in the Civic Offices during the summer.
I thought that it was great too that the building was empty and that it was hard to get people to have the time to talk to us, even though there are 200 people who use the services. It shows the main aim of the service is to integrate the people who use the service with the wider community.
For work experience in March we had to get placements for two weeks,
For the 1st week I went to ESB HQ, where I had to get some results from questionnaires and put them on Excel. Then I put the input and expenditure booklets in chronological order and put the duplicates into another pile, all of the duplicates had to be shredded.
For the 2nd week I went to St.Micheals House School in Ballymun for children with many different intellectual and physical disabilities ranging from down-syndrome to spina bifida where they were wheelchair bound. I worked with teachers and SNA’s by helping them do their physio, walking and eating. The class that I was in was from the age of 11 to 16. They were in the most severe section of the school. I helped to make their special drinks, eat and elevated them from their chairs to their beds. I really enjoyed this work.
Week 1 – Barrister:
Having done a week of work experience in an established law firm called McCann Fitzgerald in December, I was able to organise an additional week of work experience with a barrister. I have had a huge interest in law in the lead up to the work placement, and the week in McCann’s had encouraged me even more to find out more about a possible career in law. In organising a week of work experience with a barrister, I was hoping to see the contrasts between the work done by a barrister and solicitor. I was aware of the obvious differences, but I also wanted to see some of the background work done by a barrister.
The week involved me attending many courts with the barrister for hearings and trials. I found the cases incredibly interesting. There were also a few other barristers who were happy to take me to the courts they were working in, when my barrister had nothing interesting happening. Throughout the week, the barrister was more than happy to tell me about the law and the work of a barrister. He was also delighted to answer any questions that I may have had.
On the last day, I was brought by the barrister to meet a high court judge, his father, the Honourable Mr Justice Paul Gilligan. He is well-known as the judge who ordered the injunction on Aer Lingus workers, preventing them from striking on St Patrick’s weekend of this year.
I also spent two days in the Criminal Courts of Justice on Park Gate Street. This was very interesting. I attended many hearings and even an assault trial.
After this week of work experience, I am very sure that I would like to pursue a career as a barrister.
Week 2 – Architect:
For my second week of work experience, I worked in an architectural practice called Kelly and Cogan Architects. On the first day the architect took me through the work carried out by the practice as well as a portfolio of their work over the years. I carried out a number of tasks during the week. The first task I was given was to produce a drawing on AutoCAD. At first, I found using the drawing software difficult, but I soon got the hang of it. I worked on this for the time I spent in the office.
We also went to the site of an extension to a house. It was very interesting to see the discussions that took place on site and the agreements that were reached to have any issues sorted.
After completing the AutoCAD task, I then moved on to working with historic maps of Dublin that the architect was using as part of work he does with the Dublin Civic Trust. I had to trace a map and then put the tracing in to Photoshop. From there I would work on it and turn it into a computer drawn map.
This week of work experience was fantastic. I have always had an interest in architecture and still do. The week was a great experience and opened my eyes to the possibility of a future career in architecture.
Young Social Innovators (YSI) is Ireland’s largest social awareness, active citizenship and education programme for 15 to 18 year olds. Its main goal is to get young people involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused.
As part of this a selection of students from the school went to DCU for a workshop on many different social problems that face young people, the community and society as a whole. These range from alcoholism to homophobia to racism. I found this to be a very open discussion on many different topics. There was no stone left unturned.
Finally we were invited to attend the Annual Showcase of Young Social Innovators 2014, if we made a poster conveying a social issue in order to attend.
It will take place on 7th May 2014 at Citywest Hotel. The Annual Showcase of Young Social Innovators is the biggest celebration of social innovation in Ireland and one of the largest youth events in the country.
So it’s something to look forward too.