2015 – Ireland

Irish Students who hosted the visiting students in October 2015:

Eduardo Brandao, Ciaran Brennan, Michael Collins, Adam Connolly, Alan Connor, Sean Di Fiore, Kenneth Fallon, Cian Fitzpatrick, Ben Flanagan, Dylan Floyd, Aaron Foley, Darragh Halpin, Ciaran Harmon, Shane Hickey, John Holdcroft, Zachary Keller, Jack Kennedy, Anthony Kent, Harry Lipscomb, Finn Madden, Ciaran McCann, Alan McGrane, Evan McGrane, Cian McKenna, Shane McQuillan, Darren Morgan, Ronan O’ Gara, Tadhg O’Reilly, Eoin Reid, Euan Reid, Joshua Reilly, Liam Ryan, Ryan Sands, Cillian Walsh

Ireland – Click to see the travel itinerary

Sunday October 4th 2015

On the 4th October the Germans, Italians and Portuguese students got their first taste of St Josephs.  They were welcomed to the school by Mr Madden, Mr Savage, Mr Kelly, Mr McDonagh and Ms Clinton.  After Mr Madden told the students about the history of the school, they were given a guided tour around the school.  At 1 o’clock everyone got lunch which was a variety of foods like sausage rolls, wedges and ham and cheese sandwiches. When everyone finished their lunch we set off for Drogheda. Here we gathered around Drogheda Tourist Office.  We were split in to 3 groups and we were given a talk and a tour of Drogheda’s most famous sites.  We visited Laurence’s Gate, St Peter’s Church.We then set off for Millmount.  In Millmount we went up to the tower its self where we could see the whole of Drogheda town.  Our tour guide then brought us to the museum in Millmount which gave us a great insight of what it was like back when Millmount was built.  After that we all hopped on the bus back to our school and the students all went home.

Darren Morgan TY1

Monday October 5th 2015

On Monday morning at 9am the students got to school and met in rooms 29 & 30. Soon after the meeting we started a team building exercise which involved students being split up into groups and working together to form a bridge made of newspaper capable of holding a stone and a 5L drum.  The bridge was built to the requirements on a sheet.  Groups needed good communications and a good strategy to complete the task.  After this we had a tea break. After tea break, students then had to present the work they had been doing related to Erasmus + project “Matters of Matter”.  Some groups had some very good presentations such as “Cardiac Control” and “Out of Bounds”. Students learnt off other groups ideas and managed to improve their own projects.  Another break followed the presentations and then students prepared their stands for the open night on Tuesday 7th October. After a tiring days work it was time to relax and we made our way to the D Hotel where we watched Irish Dancing and Traditional Irish Singing.  At the end of the night everyone got involved and danced together in a big group to perform the Siege of Ennis dance.  I think the true meaning of the word “craic” was learnt by all that night.

Ryan Sands TY2

Tuesday October 6th 2015

The morning started off by finishing preparing the stands for the school open night later that evening. Then all the students visited Monasterboice Round Tower and the High Crosses. We learned about “Búite” a Monk from the 5th century and how he set up the Monastic Settlement.  The trip was enjoyed by all.

Next we went to Oldbridge House, the site of the Battle of the Boyne. We had lunch and after lunch we did the tour of Oldbridge house. We learned that in the year 1690 the largest land fought battle in Ireland’s history took place in Oldbridge and the surrounding area.  There was a laser show, showing the events of the battle and to finish the experience off we took the OldBridge tree-trail.  It was a great experience enjoyed by everyone.

That evening it was back to the school for the school open night. All the projects had been set up earlier that day with only some minor adjustments needed before people started to arrive at 6 o clock. There was a huge crowd present and lots of people asked us about the project, the posters and the demonstrations we had on show on the night.

Anthony Kent TY1

Wednesday October 7th 2015

We travelled to Dublin to the Crann Institute and the National Science Gallery. In the Crann Institute we first got a talk about Nano Science and the research that is being carried out there. Nano Science is the science of very small things (one billionth of something).  A lot of research is carried out on graphite (which is found in things like pencils) and graphene. Graphene is a very thin layer of carbon and is one million times thinner than paper. We learned how to separate out graphene into individual layers using washing up liquid and a blender. We were then taken around the labs and got to see some of the facilities there. After this we went to the National Science Gallery and looked at the exhibition there. We then got lunch and got some time to go shopping before we got back on the bus for Drogheda.

That evening we went to St. Fechins GAA club where Mr. Ryan and Mr. Stephenson had organised an evening of sport. Our visiting students got to try hurling and trained with the U16s hurlers. After this we had food in the club house. It was a good day and we are bonding well as a group.

Alan Connor TY 2

Thursday October 8th 2015

The day started off with a presentation by Mr. McDonagh on behalf of a company called Smarter Surfaces. They are an Irish company based in Dublin and employ 22 people. They were only set up in 2012. In the presentation we learned what products the company sell and how to use them. The company gave lots of materials to the school for us to use. We started off by going outside and painting small timber boards with smart primer paint. These boards will be covered with smart paint in a week’s time and we will be able to use them in class as small whiteboards, and write on them using ordinary whiteboard markers. After this there was a logo contest, where each country had to design a new logo for the company. This was done using their smart whiteboard sheets which stick to surfaces and act as a whiteboard. After a vote the Italian design won and they received a full paint kit from smarter surfaces for their school. After lunch we were put into working groups. These groups were working on new ideas from what had been learned during the week or expanding on their original ideas that they brought to Ireland. On Thursday evening we had a free evening where no events were planned and we could rest.

Joshua Reilly TY2

Friday October 9th 2015

In the morning we started off working in our groups to put the finishing touches to our ideas. After this was completed each group had to present their idea to everybody present. There were a lot of new and good ideas during this presentation.

After this we went to the computer room to fill out an evaluation form on the activities and events during the week. Then it was time to tidy up the room and put it back the way it was. All the posters were removed from the walls, the extra chairs and tables put back and all the students and teachers from the visiting countries carefully packed away all the materials they had brought.

After lunch we had sports activities where Mr. Kent and Mr. O’ Suilleabhain brought all the students involved in the Erasmus project out onto the pitches and basketball court for sport. This was an enjoyable time as after a long week of work it was good to relax.

That night we had a farewell dinner in the school for the teachers and students involved the project. There was dinner and desert and each student and teacher was presented with a certificate of participation. Mr. Madden, Ms. Clinton and Mr. McDonagh presented the certificates. After that everybody went home as all the visiting students had to be back at the school at 9am to be brought to the airport.

The week passed very quickly and everybody was very busy. I really enjoyed it and I hope to travel to Germany in March next year.

Shane Hickey TY2