Today was a fantastic day for our senior classes. Not only did our sixth class have a history walk, both 6th and 5th classes had the most interesting learning experience in the beautiful surrounds of the Ship Room of the Monastery! Both classes have been studying the life of an inspirational young Pakistani girl named Malala Yousafzai, a young girl shot by the Taliban for championing the right to equality and education for all. In conjunction with this learning, Ms McGailey arranged for both classes to get a lecture from Pakistani native, our own Brother Kevin from the Edmund Rice Centre. He delivered a most interesting presentation on his homeland which had the boys engrossed. He then introduced us to two modern day heroes from Afghanistan, Homayoon and Quadratullah. These two men are former workers with our own NGO, Concern and they spent much time trying to bring education to the children of their homeland, sometimes in the face of the most extraordinary dangers. They lost many colleagues and friends and their work and heroism really struck a chord with the boys. Thank you to Brother Kevin and his colleagues for a most enriching learning experience! It is something that I am sure will have had a most positive impact on the boys.
Room 22 represents Mount Sion and Waterford at the VEX IQ Challenge in CIT Each boy played a different role and each boy spoke to the judges today to explain how they contributed to this unique project. Ms. Whelan, Ms. O' Connor and James were very proud today. The boys impressed the judges with their robot 'DéiseTronic', their pit display, STEM video, engineering notebook and their driving skills.
The competition is divided into four parts: 1. A STEM Rearch project - Our research on 'Robotics in the Community' was carried out in school and Bausch and Lomb, Waterford. We made a video of our findings. This is available on our website and Facebook Page. 2. A Robotic Journal - We kept a 135 page journal of how we researched and made our robot. 3. The VEX IQ challenge - The boys will have to drive our robot in two competitions. 50 schools will take part. The robot will also have to perform autonomously. Our team of programmers (boys in Room 22) have worked hard to program our robot to work on it's own.
Following on from being named by Trinity College as a 21st Century School of Distinction earlier this year, the links between the university and our school were further enhanced today. We were delighted to welcome Dr. Katriona O' Sullivan from Trinity College to our school. Katriona was accompanied by four Trinity students who shared their academic journey with our sixth class boys. The boys were encouraged to set goals for the future and realised that the "world is indeed their oyster" and anything is possible! It was a most uplifting and inspirational experience for all involved, teachers, professors, students and of course our boys! The key message from these wonderful Trinity Access students was that there are no barriers if you really want to achieve. A huge thanks to everyone in Trinity Access 21 for this wonderful initiative. It seems like this is not the last our sixth class boys will be seeing of our new mentors. The group from Trinity College also listened to a presentation from a group of Mount Sion boys on how they achieved our 'Buddy Bench'. They presentation was excellent and they represented our school with pride.