TY2016: The BEES-t Week

b1Isabel Gallagher, Coláiste Muire, Ennis

This week I attended the BEES Transition Year Programme 2016. I thoroughly enjoyed this week and gained a lot of useful information about the Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences course here at UCC.

I was incredibly nervous on the first day, as I am from Clare and did not know anybody who would be doing the course with me. I had concerns about who I would spend time with for the week, however this was not a problem as we were all in the same boat. On the first morning, the group met with the course co-ordinator Simona, who helped us all to feel at ease and organised the week very well. Within a few hours on the first day, everybody had made friends and we all began to bond as a group.

The week commenced with an introduction to the course. We then went on a tour of the BEES buildings so that we would be able to find our way around for the week. I found these very interesting, as I had never been to UCC before. Later in the day we completed our first practical, which was an observation of the insects found in both clean and polluted rivers.

We had the opportunity to carry out a wide range of practicals throughout the week, which I really enjoyed. One of my favourites was the sea urchin practical. We were each supplied with a sea urchin in a tank. Our task was to drop various rocks and shells into the tank to observe what the sea urchin would go for. Another practical I enjoyed was bird ringing. We all went outside and got to look at various types of birds and record different measurements such as their weight, fat and muscle.

On Wednesday, we had a Q&A session with a current fourth year student studying Geology. This was very helpful as he told us about being a BEES student and also just student life at UCC. Later in the day, we went on a tour of the main UCC campus and Boole Library. During our tour of the library, we visited the Special Collections department. I loved this as we got to see some very interesting and incredibly old books.

On Thursday I had made a lot of friends and felt very settled in the course. We had an interactive career talk that morning, and had to organise ourselves into groups to create a poster on a BEES subject of our choice. That afternoon we completed a Geology quiz, which I found very intriguing.

This week was an incredibly experience, and was well worth doing. I got to meet a lot of new people, and gain a huge amount of information related to the subjects I love. It has helped me to decide that I am very interested in this course, so I am very glad that I competed this valuable week.

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