Ciarain Condron, Killina Presentation Secondary School
When I started the BEES transition year programme I wanted to find out what courses I liked and didn’t like. I want to study zoology in college and after several lectures about zoology my mind was swaying in that direction. I had an interest in ecology, botany and geology but after a few days learning more about them I felt they were not for me.
On the first day we all got a good insight into a few of the different courses and gained first-hand experience of the courses through doing practical work and listening to the lecturers. We got a really good marine biology lecture from a lecturer at the college. Coming from the Midlands I had no real knowledge about anything marine or coastal. This area really interested me. We also viewed insects which we caught in pit fall traps under a microscope and did a mammal hair identification class.
The second day started with a really fun project in zoology. We tested sea urchins in captivity to see what type of material was their favourite to hide under. It was nice to deal with a live creature. We had lectures throughout the day on invasive species and their impacts and a class on plant science. We got to ask current students about their courses and how did they pick them and why.
On Wednesday we got a tour of the library which was very impressive and the UCC campus. Earlier that morning we were put into small groups and put with a postgrad student specialising in a certain area. My group learned about animal tunnels under motorways. We got to set trap cameras in the woods. We saw foxes and other wildlife on our cameras when we checked them. That was really exciting.
We were meant to do bird ringing on Thursday but the weather was very wet and we didn’t want to stress the birds. Instead we learned about different personalities in birds species which was really enjoyable. We had a really good geology practical on rocks and fossils.
Finally we had a lecture on environmental science. It was informative. Throughout the week we all got a really good feeling of college life and of the different courses that UCC provide. I am looking forward to working hard in school to get my place in UCC hopefully to study the great zoology course they provide. The week was great fun and it encouraged me even more to want to study the BEES programme at UCC.