Engineering Week at KCVS

Metal work students in Kilkenny City Vocational School have been enjoying their coding classes during the past year. We decided to take coding a step further by purchasing some programmable robotic kits.

Our junior cycle students firstly had to build their chosen robots from scratch, these were then programmed using “Blockly” code. This was an invaluable opportunity for our students to experience for themselves the task of program writing, downloading and enabling the Robot to carry out the challenge.

One challenge was: “To pick up a plastic bottle from a predetermined location and place it at another location”. This replicates a typical “pick & place” robotic operation utilised extensively in industry in particular in car manufacturing.

Research has found that from a learning perspective it is very beneficial for students to do any of the following:

  • Work in groups,
  • Complete design and make tasks
  • Relate academic learning to concrete examples

All three of the above teaching/learning strategies were achieved during this task, our students really enjoyed this task and participated with enthusiasm.

JCSP Make a Book

The annual Junior Certificate Schools Programme Make a Book exhibition took place on Friday 9th March in the Woodlands Hotel in Waterford.

A group of 7 students represented the school at the exhibition. This was a great experience for the students and gave them the opportunity to be teachers for the day.

This year’s project “Wheel of Subjects “ was a cross curricular exercise with 1st and 2nd year students. Students produced a wheel in Woodwork class and worked on the rotating mechanism in Metalwork. Art class was used to decorate and colour the wheel. Each subject produced a selection of questions for each category on the wheel with the help of the teachers.

The purpose of the wheel was to produce a revision tool for all Junior Certificate Subjects. Students spin the wheel and whatever category (subject) the pointer lands on is the selected question category.

This was a fantastic cross curricular project and gave students a chance to demonstrate their varied talents and skills.