“Plants aren’t the boring things I once thought they were” – TY2012

The TY2012 students at BEESFrom the 30th January to the 3rd of February, I spent a week exploring BEES at UCC.  Starting off, I had no real idea what to expect. 

by Laura O’Sullivan, Loretto Secondary School, Fermoy.

When we first arrived we were given an introduction into what we would be doing for the week from John O’Halloran.  We were all quite nervous and, consequently, not saying much.  However, during the course of the first hour we were reminded about ten times by Prof O’Halloran that this was not school and we were allowed to talk.  Next we had a lecture on Geology and a Geology practical on fossils with 2nd year students.  It was really interesting, something I didn’t expect.

The next day was a lot more exciting than the first.  We had a lecture and practical on Ecology/Zoology from Gavin Burnell.  I found this really interesting.  He was really helpful with explaining what the course entailed and what careers were open to you if you achieve a degree in either of the above subjects.

That afternoon, we had a lecture and practical on plant science from Pete Jones and Barbara Doyle.  I was not really looking forward to this particular part of the week, but I was very pleasantly surprised!  It was really fun and opened my eyes to that fact that plants aren’t the boring things I once thought they were.

The highlight of the week by far for me was our visit to the Eureka centre.  It was one of the weirdest and fascinating talks I have ever sat in on.  Noel Brett was the person talking to us and he made physics interesting!  His enthusiasm was compelling and you couldn’t help but listen to him.
On Thursday, we had a careers talk, a tour of the library and a tour of the campus.  I thought the library was fascinating as we got to view a first edition of Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ which was really cool.  I also learned a lot about the history of the campus that I never knew before.

On our last day we had a really interesting and informative lecture on Media and Science from Eoin Lettice.  Then we had a lecture and practical on Environmental Science.

So, in conclusion, I had an absolutely great week.  I would definitely recommend this course to secondary students next year.  It gave me a great insight into what the course entails and how the college works.

I would also like to thank our coordinator, Grace Cott, who made the week really great!

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