UCD Science Summer School Photo Gallery 7 June 2016

 

183 fifth year secondary school students from 120 secondary schools across Ireland took part in the UCD Science Summer School programme on 7 June 2016. Each student got the chance to experience a day in the life of UCD Science by completing two workshops in state-of-the-art laboratories and active learning environements in the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science. Workshops were available in Biological & Environmental Science, Biomedical & Biomolecular Science, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Earth Science.

Biological & Environmental Science Workshop

The UCD School of Biology and Environmental Biology showcased the subjects of Environmental Biology, Zoology, Plant Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology through a series of demonstrations and practicals. In the workshops, the students completed three experiements. The first experiment was "Isolation of DNA from strawberries" with Dr Rainer Melzer. In this lab, students were told about the importance of DNA and the basic concept of how DNA is isolated from organisms. Students then obtained hands-on experience of isolating DNA from strawberries.

Completing an experiment in the Biological & Environmental Science Workshop

Completing an experiment in the Biological & Environmental Science Workshop

‌The second experiment was carried out under the instruction of Associate Professor Tom Wilkinson and was entitled" The miracle of virgin birth." Believe it or not, virgin birth isn't really a miracle - many animals respond to environmental circumstances by doing without males when they want to reproduce. This lab investigated how insects (e.g. greenfly) use virgin birth (or parthenogenesis) to boost their number at extraordinary rates, making them arch enemies of gardeners and farmers worldwide.

Associate Professor Tom Wilkinson during the Biology and Environmental Science workshop

Associate Professor Tom Wilkinson during the Biology and Environmental Science workshop

The final experiment was "Mammalian dentition" with Associate Professor Evelyn Doyle. In this lab, students examined a range of skulls from various mammalian species to investigate how diet affects the types of teeth present. Students then had to determine from a list of possible candidates - including herbivores, omnivores and carnivores - which species each skull came from.

 

Biomedical & Biomolecular Science Workshop

During the Biomolecular and Bomedical Science Workshop students took part in a variety of demonstrations and experiments that examined the science behind our bodies in health and disease.

Carrying out an experiment during the UCD School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science workshop.

Carrying out an experiment during the UCD School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science workshop

‌These included identification of different bacteria which cause disease in humans, measuring glucose and protein levels in the blood, Separating DNA molecules by gel electrophoresis, observing programmed cell death in human cells and experiments which explore the role the sensory nervous system plays in touch and taste.

Chemistry Workshop

The practical provided by the UCD School of Chemistry included a mixture of hands-on experiments and as well as using demonstrations to display some of the more lively reactions in a series of demonstrations in the undergraduate teaching labs.

Summer School Chemistry part 1/3

Summer School Chemistry part 2/3

Dr Tony Keene with the students during the UCD School of Chemistry practical

Physics Workshop

In the UCD School of Physics workshop, students built their own spectroscope out of household items. They used their spectroscopes to analyze various laboratory light sources and ultimately went on to analyze the light from the sun and discover what elements must be present in the suns atmosphere. A sample of the activities carried out can be seen in the gallery below.

Summer School Physics part 1/3

Summer School Physics 2/3

A sample of the range of activities in the UCD School of Physics practical carried out with Dr Tom McCormack

Earth Sciences Workshop

Dr Patrick Orr from the UCD School of Earth Sciences conducted the Earth Sciences Workshop. Participants in the Geology Workshop learned plate tectonics in the first half of the workshop. Participants were able to investigate how researchers reconstruct the position within the crust at which earthquakes occur and about the important role plate tectonics plays in various other Earth processes, including regional climate change and the flux of sediments from continents to the oceans.

Dr Paddy Orr instructing some of the participants at the Earth Sciences Workshop

Dr Paddy Orr instructing some of the participants at the Earth Sciences Workshop

In the second part of the workshop participants got an overview of the geological history of Ireland. The students took part in a group exercise using geological maps of Ireland to reconstruct how environments changed over this interval.

Getting hands on experience in the UCD School of Earth Sciences.

Getting hands on experience in the UCD School of Earth Sciences.

Mathematics Workshop

Dr Helena Smigoc, Dr John Sheekey and Christopher Kennedy delivered the UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics workshops. The workshops were a mix of presentations, challenges, tasks and group interactions.

Current undergraduate student Emily Lewanowski-Breen helping some of the participants at the Maths Workshop

Current undergraduate student Emily Lewanowski-Breen helping some of the participants at the Maths Workshop

Getting hands on experience in the UCD School of Earth Sciences.

Students were introduced to a broad range of topics, including recursive formulae, Catalan's triangle, and the millennium problems. They got to puzzle over paths and mountain ranges, the hardest Sudoku ever and playing cards by maths.

Dr Helena Smigoc speaking to the group in the Maths workshop

Dr Helena Smigoc speaking to the group in the Maths workshop

Actuarial & Financial Studies student Victoria Ryan-Nesbitt helping the group with the hardest Sudoku ever

Actuarial & Financial Studies student Victoria Ryan-Nesbitt helping the group with the hardest Sudoku ever