EsatBT Young Scientist – Mary Ennis and Billy Fehin Enter

Scientific Research at Hazelwood College
Preparing for the Young Scientist Exhibition
By: Mary Ennis and Billy Fehin, Transition Year Students of Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher

We began preparing our Young Scientist project in September when our chemistry teacher, Ms. Neville brought us in an article she had read in the Limerick Leader. The minute we read it we were instantly fascinated. The article was in relation to Elephant Grass or Miscanthus as it is scientifically known. Miscanthus is a perennial low- input, high-output crop that has great biomass energy potential and loves soil with high water retention properties. Basically that means that Miscanthus is a type of grass, never before successfully grown in Ireland, that requires very little work to farm but has huge potential to become a new type of environmentally friendly fuel. It loves wet boggy land which is why the grass is growing very successfully in Adare. We went on to the internet hoping to find some research material in relation to our project. We were surprised to find millions of pages relating to Miscanthus. We spent weeks reading through the material with the help of our teacher who was always there to give us new ideas and motivation when we needed it. For the practical side of the project we began by visiting Joe Hogan, the farmer who featured in the article. Joe was a wealth of information and on a cold morning in November he happily explained to us how he got started and why he decided to invest so much of his time into his crop. At this stage all of the information we were gathering was starting to make sense. We then went on to spend a full day in the University of Limerick testing the Miscanthus we had taken fresh from Joes farm. This was a great learning experience in itself as we were using chemicals and equipment that we had never heard of before. Mr. JJ Leahy, an industrial chemistry professor in UL was a great help to us on the day as he also has a keen interest in the Miscanthus phenomen. He also works closely with Joe Hogan so it was a great privilege to be working alongside him testing for such things as its Kilogram Calorific Value and Nutrients. So now as the Young Scientist Exhibition draws closer it seems the end is in sight. The project has taken four months of hard work and dedication but it has been a fantastic learning experience and was certainly worth the effort.

Click picture below to view article from Limerick Leader 15th January 2005

About Transition Year

Transition Year was reintroduced to Hazelwood College in September 2002 and is currently being co-ordinated by Miss Griffen. The programme is extremely successful and is already proving to be of great benefit to participants. Transition Year is offered to students immediately their Junior Cert.. The year is seen as a stepping stone for students moving from Junior Cycle to the demands of the Leaving Certificate programme. The year is also designed to give students a taste of different types of careers so that they may have a clearer idea of the career path they will chose to follow after the Leaving Cert. Students who have taken the Transition Year option tend to have a more mature attitude to the Leaving Cert Exam and attain better results. Transition Year aims to help students to develop academically, socially and personally. Students continue their work in the core subjects of Maths, English, Irish and Modern Languages. By this the students are given the chance to begin work on the Leaving Cert. Programme. Students also take classes in Chemistry, Art, Nature Studies, SPHE and Religion. In addition Transition Year students take a number of practical courses, which, on completion entitles them to recognised certificates, which will be of great use to them in later life e.g. The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), the Driver Theory Test, Home Management, Toastmasters and First Aid.

Transition Years Recieving Gasice Awards

Hazelwood College is very proud of its association with the University of Limerick and this is especially true for Transition Year Students. Throughout the Transition Year Students get involved in a number of orientation programmes in the different departments at the University of Limerick. In 2004 Hazelwood College Transition Year Students became the first students in the country to be awarded the new National Sports Leader Award in association with the University of Limerick and the Irish Sports Council.

Transition Year Students to develop a strong sense of responsibility. Students are given responsibility for different aspects of school life such as the school canteen, the shop and the school bank. They also have to work towards achieving the prestigious Gaisce awards from the President.

What the students say:

“The work experience we obtained gave us a chance to experience working life and what we wanted to do in later life”
Marie Kirwan Transition Yeay 2002/3

“Transition Year gave us an opportunity to mature as group and to develop new friendships within a new group” .
Jenny O Connor Transition Year 2002/3

“We achieved lots of certificates and completed many courses eg, Food and safety, Toastmasters, ECDL, and the Personal Development Day”
Denise O Sullivan Transition Year 2002 /3

The shop

The shop

There is a shop in the school which is run by the transition years. The money that it makes is used to pay for school outings and trips. The shop is beneficial to the school and the students as it teaches them the responsibilities of work and helps them to mature through trust and respect. They shop sells a variety of food and snacks and drinks for the pupils. They also supply hot breakfast and chicken rolls. They supply soup and rolls at 1 o clock to the pupils. The pay for the stock in the shop and sell and manage it themselves. It is entirely run and dependant on the students of the school. The students themselves stock the shelves and count the money. They put what they want into the bank themselves and save it. That is what the shop is all about.

By
Daniel Sheehan & Niki Keating

Transition Year Subjects

English
In this class we read novels, watch films, and do a lot of grammer work.
Irish
We are doing 2 things in Irish- we are recording a play “An Trial” and we are entering two films into the T4 film competition.
Maths
We have 2 maths classes a week. We learn about Algebra, Trigonometry and we do alot of puzzles.
French
In this class we watch some films. We do some french on the computers. we write essays on things we watch.
Chemistry
We all entered the Esat BT Young Scientist Exposition 2005. We all have to do a report and present it for Christmas.
Art
We all entered the Form & Fusion Awards. We had to make costumes out of recyclable materials.
Religion
This is the nicest clas of the week. We talk about Chrismas and helping different charities.
PE
In this class we learned how to play volleyball. We also did a coaching course for Gaelic Football.
Drama
We are preparing a play for Easter its called “On the Train” Its good fun.
IT
In this class we are doing the ECDL. We have 3 exams done and we have 4 more to do.
Nature Studies
We did a bone project in this class. we all had to write about our bnes and diseases etc.
Co-ordination
In this class we have graet fun with our year head, Ms. Griffin. She’s always in a good mood and we do some fun stuff.
Car Maintenance
We changes an oil filter in this class. We are preparing for our driver theory test and someimes we do golf.
Home Economics
We are doing the Safe Food Course in this class and we are doing our exam after Christmas.

Transition Year

The Transition Year Programme is an optional year. After the Junior Cert you have the choice of doing:
• Transition Year
• Leaving Cert
• Leaving Cert Applied

Transition Year gives you an opportunity to broaden your horizens, experience new things and find out more about what you want to do after school. You do the basic subjects, English, maths, Irish and French. You also do some subjects from the Leaving Cert, chemistry, biology and physics. You also do extra subjects like car maintaince, home management and art. On Tuesdays you go and do work experience

During the year there are many different courses covered like:
• First Aid
• Form and Fusion
• Young Scientist
• Food Safety
• Gáisce Award
• Driver Theory Test
• ECDL
• Drama
• Youth Leadership
• GAA Coaching
• Toastmasters

Over all it is very useful year and a great laugh. It is also a year to mature and to get ready for the Leaving Cert.

By Billy Fehin, Timothy Ahern and Denis Daly

Daniel

Daniels Sheehan
My opinion on Hazelwood College

It is a clean school. The teachers are grand. The rooms are alright but cold sometimes. One good thing bout de school is Dan the man. The shop is good. The people are friendly. I am thankful that the people who run the school are responsible enough to do just that .It is a lot better than other schools. Its good that it is a mixed school rather than a one sex school otherwise I would get sick of it really fast. It’s a grand school. You can have a laugh with your friends and teachers alike. It has great facilities. There is some grand sound out boys and girls

Daniels Sheehan

Daniels Sheehan
My opinion on Hazelwood College

It is a clean school. The teachers are grand. The rooms are alright but cold sometimes. One good thing bout de school is Dan the man. The shop is good. The people are friendly. I am thankful that the people who run the school are responsible enough to do just that .It is a lot better than other schools. Its good that it is a mixed school rather than a one sex school otherwise I would get sick of it really fast. It’s a grand school. You can have a laugh with your friends and teachers alike. It has great facilities. There is some grand sound out boys and girls

NAME: Helen white
YEAR: Transition
STAR SIGN: Capricorn
LIKES: ‘SCHOOL’
The best thing about Hazelwood college is the Art class it is Brilliant the teacher is a lovely person and Transition years this year are entering the form fusion were you have to make a costume out of recyclable and you have to model it.

Also the principle and vice principle are lovely people to meet and how try there best to keep the school moving and keep the good name.
The people also in this school are very friendly and easy to get on with and the first years have settled in very well this year.

About Anne

Hazelwood College. Anne O’ Sullivan ……!

I enjoy attending Hazelwood College because I have friends here and most people are friendly. I also enjoy music and last year I, along with some of my friends took part in the musical ‘Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat’ it got a very good response from the audience both nights it was shown. This school is always said to put on very good shows and I think this is because of the enthusiasm the students show and the dedication both they and Mr. Sheehan (the music teacher) give. Mr. Sheehan makes every class enjoyable and anybody that has experienced his teaching can’t say that with him you don’t have the craic.

I now at present am a student in transition year. This year has given me the opportunity to get work experience outside of school but also in transition year you get the chance to run the school shop. Running the shop means you interact with customers and you learn to be responsible, these are useful to you later in life. Transition year also gives you the chance to get to know your classmates a little bit better. In this year we also go out on day trips to different places, some of which include colleges and institutions. The transition year program is very useful for people who are of a young age and need the chance to ma