By Suzanne Pender
TWO Co Carlow schools have honed their computational thinking skills to identify a local problem: design useful solutions and help get them solved!
Scoil Mhuire gan Smál in Carlow town and Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Tullow have both been involved in the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Weave Project, a collaborative two-year computational thinking project working with a wide variety of members, including DCU, SETU Carlow, Arizona State University, the PDST (Professional Development Services for Teachers) and primary schools in both Carlow and Dublin.
Over the last year, the teachers and students identified local problems, which were researched by the pupils over a number of weeks to gain a deeper level of understanding of the issue.
Solutions to the various problems were then illustrated by the students’ Scratch animations, which allowed them to express their thoughts and educate viewers on the local problem under investigation. Scratch is a block-based coding language and students created wonderful illustrations and interactive animations. They also demonstrated their engineering and design skills through building a working Lego robotic model.
Scoil Mhuire Lourdes were inspired by their research into the history of the Brigidine Sisters and the Sisters’ affiliation with nature and decided to examine local, natural amenities to learn more about them to see if they could help improve these natural resources.
Among the projects from Scoil Mhuire gan Smál was a retelling of the Norman invasion, with a focus on the historic Carlow Castle.
At the end of last year, the pupils presented their wonderful designs and robotics at a showcase event at St Patrick’s Campus in DCU, Dublin.
As year two begins, SFI Discover Weave has offered its thanks to all the students and teachers for their dedication and hard work that went into making year one a success.