Students strike hard for science

Shooting practice....pupils from Bullaun NS test their hurling prowess. Photo:Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

A group of Galway primary school pupils are aiming to answer one of Irish sport’s great conundrums – does the weight of your hurley play any part in how far you can strike the sliothar?

The sixth class students – all from the hurling and camogie heartland of Bullaun, home to the Sarsfields club – undertook their project as their entry into this year’s RDS Primary Science Fair, which takes place in Limerick next week.

They are one of nine schools from across the county participating in what is set to be the biggest Fair to date with 3,000 primary school students exhibiting their work over three days, from Thursday to Saturday week.

The strong focus on sport at Scoil Éanna in Bullaun provided much of the inspiration for the project, suggested Gemma Dolan, the teacher for the Bullaun students.

“There’s a very good hurling team in the school and there’s no point in doing something they’re not interested in. They came up with the idea themselves and have worked very hard,” she revealed.

Once the 23 students voted on the research question, they shared out the work and began conducting their studies, starting off with gathering equipment.

“Eamonn Hodgins from Kiltormer kindly sponsored three hurls for the project. They were the same timber and the same length. The only different was the weight of each hurl,” said Gemma.

Each STEM project operates on a whole-class basis, ensuring that every student gets involved.

Gemma said partaking in the investigation raised the students’ awareness of the science curriculum and has brought the subjects to life.

“They’re taking it very seriously. They want it to be perfect and are being very hard on themselves” she added.

Other projects from schools across the county include “Can mindfulness improve our concentration?” frrom Kilnadeema National School – and students from Corrandulla NS are answering the question on everyone’s mind this time of year: “What lifestyle changes can be made to enhance our health and well-being?”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.