Samara Davis, Wesley College, Dublin
My favourite part of the week was all the experiments and practicals we did. We went to lectures for a lot of the week but experiments and practicals were a big part of what we did. The first experiment we did was on the first day and it was looking at the organisms that had fallen into pitfall traps in grassland and in Japanese Knotweed.
We found that the Knotweed had less organisms than the grassland proving that the grass is a better habitat than the Knotweed. On the first day we also did a geology practical looking at fossils and seeing how their shape and size can tell us a lot about where they lived and what they did.
The next experiment we did was looking at GM potato cells under a microscope; we got to see how the cells tuned blue if the Genetic Modification was successful. On the second day we also got to do a practical with sea urchins. We were given a tank with one in it and we had to try to name what it was and answer some questions on it, we were then told all about it and we did a experiment with them.
On one of the days we did bird ringing. We went outside in the freezing cold to catch birds and put rings on their legs and measure their wing span and weigh them. We got to watch Barry (the bird ringer) take the birds off the nets and put them in cotton bags. We then were shown how to put the rings on the birds; there were so many birds in the nets that he let us do some of them ourselves. He showed us show to make the birds fall asleep on our hands and then let them fly away, this was really fun and a great success.
One of my favourites was on the fourth day. We went to the Eureka Centre and did a few experiments with candles and fake blood. The first thing we did was blood typing, we got to see how they work out what blood type you are and we got to do this ourselves, this was really fun and we learnt a lot at the same time. The other experiments we did were with candles, we got a basin of water and we put a lit candle in it and covered it with a beaker and watched for the candle to burn out and the water level to rise.
The week was really enjoyable and fun, I met some really great people and it was really good to see what the campus is like in UCC.