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Teaching and Learning/News

SPARC - Results announced 18.12.14

SPARC is a UCD Teaching & Learning funded pilot initiative to facilitate the delivery of projects aimed at making UCD a better place to live, work and learn. These projects are delivered through staff/student partnerships.


UCD Teaching and Learning are delighted to announce that following a very competitive selection process the projects listed below were approved for funding under the SPARC initiative.


Congratulations to those who were selected. The standard of applications was exceptionally high and showcased the commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in evidence across the campus.

 

Bring Bees Back to Belfield

Background

The honey bee is the most economically valuable pollinator worldwide. However, bee populations (honey bees as well as other indigenous species) are decreasing worldwide due to habitat destruction, pest and disease attacks and overuse/misuse of pesticides. Through this project a new bee colony will be developed on the UCD campus. 

Aims

  • To give bees a safe habitat to thrive
  • To help found a student society of beekeeping to enrich the possibilities of students interested in bees and their management.
  • To allow a collaborative process for a mixture of interested staff and students to redevelop a taught elective module about apiculture.
  • To increase the wider community’s understanding of these vital insects to the human food chain.

Project Team

  • Owen Doyle, Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Dennis Kenny, student (Stage 4), School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Kevin Kenny, Senior Technical Officer, School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Edmond Kirwan, student (Stage 1), School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Barry McMahon, Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Stephen McMullan, student (Stage 2), School of Agriculture and Food Science
  • Gary Smith, Facilities Manager, Buildings and Services Unit
  • Brian Tobin, Research Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food Science
Timeline

January – September 2015

 

LabVIEW 360 interactive virtual lab tour

Background

It takes time for new students and staff to get to know the layout and how equipment works in the Conway institute. Creating a virtual tour could speed up the training and orientation process of Conway students and staff. This virtual tour will also allow potential postgraduate students and employees to survey the Conway Institute labs and equipment.

Aims

  • To create a virtual walkabout tour of a Conway Institute laboratory.
  • To create video demonstration of how various pieces of equipment work and incorporate them into the virtual tour as video guides.
  • Place this tour on a server as an interactive website.
  • Add barcodes to pieces of equipment so students can scan these with their mobile phones and watch the demo videos created in aim 2.

Project Team

  • Kate Connor, PhD student, College of Science
  • Gordon Cooke, Research Scientist, School of Medicine and Medical Science
  • Vincent Hoban, Audio Visual Specialist, UCD Media Services
  • Niall Watts, Educational Technologist, UCD Media Services
Timeline

January – September 2015

 

Maths Sparks

Overview

Involving students in strategy-based board games, video games and puzzles can ignite an interest in the subject of mathematics which they may have heretofore seen as dull, irrelevant and formulaic. By involving Transition Year students in problem solving, creative and critical thinking approaches in an enquiry and collaborative based setting a change in mind set and opinion around the nature of mathematics can be achieved. In the longer term this may lead to an improved uptake in the study of Mathematics (Statistics, Applied and Computational Mathematics) to degree level at UCD.

Aims

  • To ignite post-primary students’ interest in mathematics through a non-traditional approach to engaging with the subject.
  • To introduce non-curricular and problem based mathematics topics utilising open-task problems and games of a strategic nature.
  • To develop an understanding among post-primary students’ of the work of mathematicians in attempting to solve unfamiliar problems through trial and error strategies and collaborative approaches.

Project Team

  • Stephen Alff, student (Stage 2), College of Scienece
  • Jennifer Costello, student (Stage 2), College of Scienece
  • Deirdre Creegan, student (Stage 2), College of Scienece
  • Anthony Cronin, Manager Maths Support Centre
  • Ciara Delaney, student, Professional Masters in Education, School of Education
  • Patrick Doohan, student (Stage 1),  Higher Diploma, College of Science
  • Melanie Dwane student, (Stage 4), College of Science
  • Christopher Kennedy, student (Stage 2) College of Science
  • Niamh Maher, student (Stage 2) College of Science
  • Kate McDonald, student, Professional Masters in Education, School of Education
  • Joe Noonan, student, (Stage 2) College of Science
  • Aoibhinn Ni Shúilleabháin, Teaching Fellow, School of Mathematical Sciences
  • Philip Smyth, Outreach Officer, Access Centre
  • Bronagh Walsh, student, (Stage 2), College of Scienece

Timeline

December 2014 – July 2015

 

Outreach Archaeology and the Dublin Community

Overview

Our towns, place names, economy, art, language and culture all have roots in archaeology; it ties directly to our ideas of people, place and identity, however, the opportunity to engage with this subject is often not available. This project will provide a platform for information, education and direct engagement with archaeology for school children.

Aims

  • To bring Irish archaeology and history to life through a series of 1.5 hour workshops aimed at school children
  • To facilitate demonstrations and open days featuring UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Ancient Technologies
  • To create a dedicated forum for online resources for teachers and parents to support further learning

Project Team

  • Niamh Kelly, PhD student, School of Archaeology
  • Aidan O’Sullivan, Associate Professor, School of Archaeology

Timeline

January – July 2015

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