TY2014: A week to remember

Daire O’Sullivan, Presentation Brothers College

Boole Library. Photograph by Tomas Tyner,UCC.

I recently have attended the School of BEES  in UCC for a week of work experience. The week was a course in UCC regarding Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. It was from 10AM until 4PM every day and was extremely interesting. I am going to give an account of the five days in UCC and what we did each day.

Monday: This was the first day of the course. We started off the day by getting an introduction to the course, the building and UCC in general from Professor John O’Halloran. We learned about the international recognition of UCC as a university and the wide range of courses available to its students. We then were given a tour of the entire facility, this included the majority of the Butler Building and all of the Cooperage. It is a very impressive campus with some great facilities. For the remainder of the day we had two practicals, one regarding Terrestrial Ecology, and the other about Geology Fossils.

Tuesday: This was one of the more active and interesting days of the course, we started off the day with Dr John Quinn and an outdoor lesson on bird ringing. He showed us how the birds were caught, how they were held in order to prevent them from flying away, and the way in which they were studied and tracked by the university. The rest of the day consisted of several lectures and practicals, mostly regarding Plant Science and Zoology.

Wednesday: This was by far the most interesting day of the week. We started the day by taking a tour of the Boole Library which is on the UCC main campus. It was very impressive, we saw some of the oldest books in history, and how they are maintained and preserved, and we visited all 4 floors of the library that has more than a million books in its walls. The radio tracking after that was also very fun, it gave me a good insight into how different animals are tracked using a variety of different devices. After the presentation, we had to use a device to try and locate a squirrel tracker, which was great fun. The rest of the day consisted of a practical about postgraduate research and finally a tour of the majority of the UCC campus, where we learned many interesting things, for example, the Statue of the Queen, encased in bulletproof glass, and its history with the college. The Mayors House, the Chapel, which is officially not a part of the UCC campus and also the observatory.

Thursday: Today we finished an hour earlier at 3. My group started the day in the Eureka Centre, where we had to design a poster on a certain topic. My group, was assigned the task of making a poster on ecology. We decided on a poster of a student asking himself questions about the geology course. Our poster did not win in the end, but nevertheless, it was a great experience and good fun to take part in. Following that, we went over to the UCC campus for a careers talk and a presentation on science, where we were given a series of tests to solve, some which were optical illusions, others were about hearing, sound and perceptual speed. Before returning to the School of BEES, we conducted an experiment in groups on blood types and how to identify them.

Friday: This was the final day of the course, we started it off by having a lecture on Environmental Science with the Dr. Grace Cott, The final activity done before writing this conclusion was a lecture with Eoin Lettice on Media and Science.

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