TY2013:A week at BEES

Michael O’Leary of Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven writes about his week at BEES:

On Monday I arrived at 9.45am and was greeted by Grace Cott the coordinator. I met the rest of the students who were also doing their work experience at the school of BEES. We went and met the head of the school. He welcomed us and talked to us about the school and what they do. After this we took a quick tour of the school seeing different parts like the zoology museum where we saw different species of animals preserved in jars, while others were stuffed.

It was extremely interesting. Once the tour was over we had an hour lunch where we sat and chatted. After lunch we had a geology lecture by Prof. Andy Wheeler. He spoke to us about the earth and the composition of the earth and what getting a degree in geology involves, it was all very interesting. Right after the lecture we did some practical with Dr. Ed Jarvis and Dr. Jo Mackey. We were given fossils and we had to sketch them and label them. We also got to see some fossils under the microscope.

we conducted an experiment to see if light and dark would affect a sea urchins habit to cover

Tuesday started off in the Cooperage with Prof. Gavin Burnell where he gave us a lecture on Zoology and focused in on a particular creature, sea urchins. There was a practical after the lecture where we conducted an experiment to see if light and dark would affect a sea urchins habit to cover. We each had our own sea urchin and we placed several things in the tank like seaweed and bits and pieces.

Then we had a very interesting lecture on birds given to us by Dr. John Quinn. He spoke to us about different species and showed us videos on different birds. One very interesting clip was on a bird that was able to mimic the sounds that it heard such as car alarms and camera shutters. Then we had lunch in the canteen.

This was definitely my favourite lecture of the whole week

Afterwards we had a plant science lecture by a very enthusiastic Prof. Peter Jones who was determined to prove to us that plants are just as interesting as animals if not more. He spoke to us about a fly trap plant and also the resurrection plant, both of which were very interesting. This was definitely my favourite lecture of the whole week. Then we had a practical with Dr. Barbara Doyle who talked to us about GM crops and showed us a sample under a microscope.

On Wednesday we went on to the main campus which was absolutely incredible. We had a tour of the Boole library where we went onto all the different floors and different sections of the library. Then we took a campus tour where we learned about the history of the campus. It was very interesting. After the tour we had some lunch on the campus and then we did some practical work with some post grads. We worked with plants and bacteria and sun burnt plants.

Thursday we went to the computer lab where we were split into groups and were each given a subject to research on and talk about to the rest of the group. We also had to design a poster related to the topic we were given. The winning group got a box of chocolates. Then we went to the main campus where we had lunch and then went to the eureka Centre. We went to a lab where we met David O’Connell. He talked to us about water and surface tension and osmosis. He showed us some interesting experiments including one exciting one called the whoosh bottle. He also showed us a plasma ball which was very interesting.

On Friday we had a Media and Science lecture from Eoin Lettice where he talked to us about science and the media and how important media actually is to science. He also spoke to us about GM crops and the arguments for and against them. Then we were sent up to the computer lab where I wrote this blog. After lunch we still have an Environmental science practical and lecture!

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