STEM 2018/2019‎ > ‎

STEM 2017/2018

Update - we are delighted to announce that Killeigh NS were awarded an DPSM Plaque of Excellence for STEM for 2017/2018.

Killeigh NS decided to apply for the SFI Discover Science and Maths Awards. As part of the process we were asked to highlight some of the activities that are ongoing in our school in the promotion and teaching of STEM subject areas.
Click on each of the headings below to see our latest updates. For our submission please continue below the page.

Science  Technology  Engineering Maths  STEM Showcase

This is our submission for the Discover Primary Science and Maths Award. Despite this being our first time to apply for this award, due  to the size of our school and the amount of STEM activity ongoing it was decided to apply for the DPSM Plaque of STEM Excellence. We wish to thank everyone who has helped out with the various different activities. It was a team effort between pupils, teachers and parents and it has proved to be a most enjoyable experience.

Step 1 - Science

For this step we carried out a number of activities under the following strands.

Living Things - 2nd class investigated the importance of using your sense of taste and smell together to fully appreciate the flavour of food. Click here for more.

Energy and Forces - 2nd and 3rd class and 3rd class tried to design a bridge using a sheet of paper. They examined the forces that the paper would come under and tried to come up with a way to make the paper strong enough to support that force. (here)

Materials (Energy and Forces) - Junior Infants investigated what makes the ideal bath toy. They discussed what it should be made from and how it should be made. (hollow) Click here for more.

Environmental Awareness and Care - Senior Infants / First class visited the school garden and tried to identify a selection of flowers. They then compared this to another area of the school grounds to see biodiversity within our school. here

Living Things - 5th class pupils (Mr Breslins Class) learned about the parts of a flower and dissected some lilies and tried to identify each part. Click here for more.

Materials / Energy and forces (Gravity) - 4th class designed and constructed a device to allow an egg drop from a height and survive!. Click here for more info.

Living things - 5th class (Ms Screeneys class) investigated what was the most important requirement for growth of cress seeds. Click here for more.

6th class also visited the Tullamore College Science Fair where they got hands on with a number of experiments. Inspired by this they decided to run their own science fair for the rest of the school! Click here for pictures from both.

Step 2 - Technology

Technology is in use everyday throughout our school. Everyday uses of technology include:
  • use of computer room to research projects
    • 6th class confirmation names
    • 5th class History project about Killeigh
    • 5th class geography project about Australia
    • 5th class project about Europe
    • 5thclass project about Women Who Made A Difference
  • use MS Word to type project work and to type stories 
  • use of Nessy Typing software for SEN pupils
  • online maths games including IXL,
  • Cloze procedure software
  • story creation software e.g. Story Bird
  • online phonics games for the junior classes using computer room (here)
Other examples of using technology are 5th class learned how to create a presentation using MS Power Point (here)

Pupils in Síolta  have been busy using Ipads to play sensory games, language games etc. (here)
The following classes are going to be starting scratch programming soon. 5th class will use the set lessons from the website, while a group from 4th class will be learning programming skills under the guidance of Ms Phelan and 6th class pupil Jessica Dunne.

(Please note that due to the burden the everyday class work places on each class, it has been decided to defer the scratch programming lessons until the main bulk of the maths course has been completed in late April / May)

Finally we spent Mon 16th April learning about how to stay safe online. This was facilitated by jackie from Zeeko. More details can be found here.

Step 3 - Engineering

Killeigh NS took part in Engineers Week this year for the first time. As part of this each class took on an engineering challenge, speakers were arranged to speak to a variety of classes and we had a fun engineering expo and exhibition where we showed off our engineering skills.

Class Challenges
Each class took on an engineering challenge. We talked about the engineering process and pupils were encouraged to use the engineering framework available on

6th class - design an make a pinball machine
5th class (Ms McElDuff) - design and make a catapult
5th class (Mr Breslin) - design and make an electronic board game (here)
4th class - Egg Drop Challenge - design and make an apparatus to help an egg survive a fall from a height (here)
2nd / 3rd + 3rd (Ms Moriarity and ms Dunne) - investigate how to build a bridge using paper or card
2nd class to Jun Inf - make fun structures using spaghetti and marshmallows.

A number of guest speakers were invited in to talk to the children about the world of Engineering.
Mr Paul Maher talked to 4th class about construction and how methods have changed over time.
Mrs Angela Troy spoke to 5th and 6th class pupils about the bio-tech industry and the contribution that engineering has made to the world of medicine.
Ms Michelle Crilly spoke to 5th and 6th class pupils about software engineering and how software and technology can help us overcome everyday problems.
Mr John Sweeney - spoke to Ms Dunnes class and Ms Moriaritys class about engineering.

We are very grateful to the above people who gave so generously of their time.

Engineering Expo and exhibition
A very enjoyable week full of activities culminated in our Engineers Expo (here) where pupils got to demonstrate what they had made. The next day each class showed off their designs in an exhibition. Click here

Step 4 - Maths

Maths was used in many of our science investigations this year to record results and to setup investigations. the following are examples of this
  • 3rd class used weighing scales to measure the weight of the blocks that their bridges could  hold. (here)
  • 5th class used length to record the results of a test on materials that would make good sound insulators. They also completed the supplementary maths activities on the DPSM activity here
  • junior classes used spaghetti and marshmallows to build their own structures. They experimented with different shapes and explored which shapes made a sturdy structure. As part of this they identified different 2d shapes and 3d shapes. (here)
Mr Breslins class were also lucky to be invited into Tullamore library for a Maths Week event on coding numbers. (here)

Step 5 - STEM Showcase

Our school has been very busy this year and we have put in a huge effort in the STEM area. Therefore it was very important to us to allow the pupils to show off their work. This was dome in the following events.

6th class science fair - To celebrate science week the boys and girls from 6th class undertook a wide variety of fun science experiments and investigations. The invited all of the other classes to the hall and spent the afternoon demonstrating their experiments or explaining what they had learned. (here)

Engineering Week Expo - We really enjoyed our first Engineers Week and a fun week was capped off with a fantastic Engineering expo where the boys and girls got to show off their engineering designs. (here)
The next day each class was invited to the hall to get a closer view of each design from the engineering challenges activities. (here)