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School Notes 13/12/2018

BT Young Scientist Success for Ballymahon Vocational School
It’s that time of the year again where preparations are well underway in many schools nationwide for the prestigious BT Young Scientist exhibition. For the sixth consecutive year Ballymahon Vocational School will be heading to the RDS in January to display not only one, but two projects this year. Over 2000 projects nationwide entered back in September with only 550 projects getting through to represent their school in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition showcase event which takes place from January 9- 12th in the RDS in Dublin.  We are extremely proud in Ballymahon Vocational School to have two successful projects for consideration in the final of this prestigious competition.

Project 1

Title: A statistical investigation in to the effects of the fodder crisis on farmers’ mental wellbeing.

Students: Patrick Connaughton, Darragh Whyte, Frankie Moffatt

Aim of Project: The students involved in this project are all from a farming background and witnessed first-hand the fodder crisis in action last winter. With the use of surveys, these students are currently investigating whether the fodder crisis had an effect on farmers’ mental wellbeing and what the main stress factors for farmers in this situation are. The students are hoping to develop recommendations that could be implemented in the event of a future fodder crisis. Mental wellbeing is such a topical concern that the boys wanted to ensure that farmers are not being overlooked.

Project 2

Title: Analysing the use and efficiency of cow sensors on dairy farms.

Students: Emily Cassells, Juliette Byrne, Patrice Rhatigan.

Aim of Project: This project aims to look at the use of cow sensors and evaluate the efficiency of these sensors. Once again, a simple survey and statistical analysis will be used to collect the data.

Both BT Young Scientist groups are very busy at the minute collecting their surveys, tallying up results and generating conclusions and recommendations. We would like to wish the students the very best of luck in their preparations for the BT Young Scientist Competition 2019.

Celebrating Science at BVS: In keeping with our celebration of science related activities, Science Week was also recently observed in BVS. This week proved to be a great success, enjoyed by all. Our 2nd year students attended Athlone cinema to watch “First Man”, a film which takes a look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20th, 1969. This film linked in very well with the Earth and Space module that students were covering at the time. A poster competition was carried out amongst all First Year Science students and all students participated in a very enjoyable Science quiz. Congratulations to Paul Smyth and Shane Natton who were the winners of this competition.  Additionally, we look forward to Spring 2019, when BVS’ annual “CPR & Defib Day” takes place. The aim of this day is to take the fear out of saving a life by teaching students basic life-saving skills and CPR. At Ballymahon Vocational School we believe that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are critically important disciplines for modern society as they empower our citizens in so many important ways. Science and all STEM subjects are a big part of student life at BVS and it is great to see the joy and enthusiasm exuded by students as they pursue their studies in this area.

Joyeux Noël: It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Ballymahon Vocational School this week as First Year French and First Year Home Economics students came together to make La Bûche de Noël, a French Christmas tradition to celebrate the Christmas season. A traditional French dessert served after the main Christmas dinner, the Bûche de Noël, is a roll of light sponge cake, covered in chocolate or coffee butter cream textured to resemble bark as an evocation of the ancient tradition of burning the Yule log. Food is an essential part of French culture and France is famous for its strong culinary traditions. French cuisine is well known for its freshness and high quality dishes and our students were delighted to get the opportunity to cook something traditionally French with some wonderful yule logs being created. A special thanks is extended to our teachers of French and Home Economics who made this memorable class possible.

Congratulations to our Safer Internet Day Ambassadors:
Congratulations to Fifth Year students Ava Fallon and Eoghan McCormack who have recently been selected by to be Safer Internet Day Ambassadors for Ballymahon Vocational School. Over 102, 000 students celebrated Safer Internet Day across Ireland in 2018 and we have no doubt that Eoghan and Ava will help to make Safer Internet Day 2019 an even bigger success. Each Safer Internet Day Ambassador will receive free online and offline training from the Webwise team and members of ISSU (Irish Second-Level Students Union). Our SID Ambassadors Ava and Eoghan will develop teamwork and communication skills and will also learn about leadership as together they lead an internet safety campaign in our school. This is a great opportunity for students from BVS to work with students from across Ireland and help create a positive environment in schools and communities. We look forward to hearing more about this exciting project in the early weeks of 2019!

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