STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

STEP 1: Science

Investigation 1 – Junior Infants – Ms Ryan

Living Things



Ms Ryan’s Junior Infant’s completed wonderful work when learning about Living Things. The children talked about things that are alive and completed a worksheet. Following this they followed a lovely set of instructions on how to grow cress seeds. They took such good care of their little plants!

Investigation 2 – 3rd Class – Ms Mc Namara

Living Things


Ms McNamara’s 3rd class gave us all a run for our money when they learned about heart rate and the effects of exercise on our heart rates. They completed a lovely KWL chart about the heart over the course of this unit of work and took part in fun, fit activities to get their heart rates up. They are all great sports!!


Investigation 3 – 6th Class – Ms Joyce

Environmental Awareness and Care

Solar Stills


6th class were learning about weather and climate which included some eye opening information about natural disasters. We discovered that natural disasters can lead to a serious shortage of drinking water so we set about planning and investigating how we could possibly purify dirty water using the heat from the sun. The children used the digital camera to record developments in their investigation over the course of a warm day.

Investigation 4 – 1st Class – Ms Maughan





Children from Ms Maughan’s learned lots of new and wonderful points of information about materials. They explored the school’s ‘Materials’ box and Ms Maughan had included some surprises of her own inside the box.




Investigation 5 – 4th Class – Mr Cunningham

Mr Cunningham’s class became magic scientists for a day when they carried out their experiment called ‘Walking Water’. They learned about the structure of a plant and then carried out their walking water experiment to demonstrate how a plant uses capillary action to take in water. Excellent work 4th class!

Investigation 6 – 6th Class – Ms Ryan

Environmental Awareness and Care

Renewable Energy

Ms Ryan’s 6th class explored the topic of renewable energy. The class were divided up into 5 groups. Each group designed and made their own prototypes. Here is a list of the completed prototypes:

  • A dam based on Inniscarra Dam in Cork
  • Solar panels using cardboard and tinfoil
  • A windmill using kitchen roll holders and straws
  • A geyser type structure to replicate geothermal energy
  • A nuclear power plant based on the famous plant from The Simpsons

Investigation 7 – 6th Class – Mr MacSweeney

Energy and Forces

Children in Mr MacSweeney’s class were learning about forces. They designed and made this amazing catapult. They put the catapult to good use by making a goal and estimating the distance required to catapult a small ball into the goal. Children throughout the school had the opportunity to test out the catapult at our Science Day during Science Week 2018.


STEP 1: Participation in a Science Event

Intel Mini Scientist Competition



Mr MacSweeney’s and Ms Joyce’s 6th class entered the Intel Mini Scientist Competition. The competition kicked off in October. The children in these classes were divided into groups of 4, each with a different investigation. The classes showcased their research and investigations at our science open day in November, as part of Science Week 2018.  A panel of judges from the school selected one group to represent the school in the regional final in December. Esther, Alen, Sofia and Denis demonstrated their investigation entitled ‘Do we judge the personality of others based on their appearance?’ at the regional final in IT Blanchardstown.

The school are very proud of all the children in Mr MacSweeney’s and Ms Joyce’s class who worked so hard. We were delighted when Intel sent out goodie bags of prizes to all of the children who took part!


STEP 1: Sustainability Project

Leave No One Behind

In 2015 world leaders came together and made a historic promise. They signed up to 17 Global Goals – the Sustainable Development Goals – that have the potential to end poverty, to reduce inequality and to tackle climate change in 15 years. “Leave No One Behind” is goal 6 of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development that is working towards water for all by 2030. At St Mary’s the staff and children are doing their part under the guidance of our Green School’s Committee. The children took part in water workshops which were really eye opening. A group of children and teachers also took part in ‘Walk for Water 2019’. They completed a 5km walk in Glendalough carrying 2 litres of water each to highlight the struggle that people around the world face daily in search of clean water. We are so proud of their continuing efforts!

STEP 2: Technology (ICT)

Use Technology to Record a Timelapse Video


Participation in Scratch

In February the 6th class children were invited to participate in coding workshops with Fidelity Investments in Citywest Business Campus.

This was a unique opportunity for the children to understand and learn with the help and advice of experts. The children were introduced to the world of coding through Scratch. The workshops were designed and delivered by Fidelity associates, who volunteered their time and expertise to create a fun and interactive learning experience for the students.

The workshops took place in the Fidelity offices which also gave the children an insight into the life of a coder.

Use of Digital Camera

Ms Joyce’s class used the digital camera to record the progress of their Solar Stills investigation over the course of a day. We were very lucky that we got a nice sunny day for their experiment. Our results were fantastic!! We chose to water the plants with our distilled water instead of tasting a sample.

Use of the Visualiser and Digital Camera

Mr Cunningham’s 4th class used the digital camera to record each step of their walking water experiment. The class was divided into groups for the investigation. After they discussed their results and conclusions, each group used the classroom visualiser to present their investigation and its results to the class.

STEP 3: Engineering

Engineer’s Week Events

5th Class – Mr Casey


Engineer’s Week 2019 took place from 2nd – 8th of March. There were lots of exciting events that took place around the country and our school was lucky enough to secure a place at two of these events. Mr Casey’s 5th class attended an event entitled ‘K’NEX Challenge’. It took place in County Library, Tallaght and was hosted by South Dublin County Council. The children got the opportunity to learn how real engineers work by designing and building models using K’Nex.



5th Class – Ms O’Brien

Ms O’Brien’s class attended the second Engineer’s Week event entitled ‘ Alice Percy’s Amazing Adventure’. This event took place in Tallaght Stadium and was hosted by South Dublin County Council. The children investigated the way we travel and discovered the science behind transport.

Design and Make Activity

6th Class – Ms Ryan

Ms Ryan’s 6th class became budding engineers as they designed and made 5 different prototypes based on renewable energy. They really are the children of our future!

STEP 4: Maths

Develop a Maths Trail around the School



During Maths Week 2018, every class from Junior Infants to 6th Class completed a maths trail around the school. The trail brought the children through the school building and outside into the yard and surrounding area. The children loved the opportunity of putting the maths skills they had learned in the classroom to practical use. Well done boys and girls!


Using Maths to Record our Science Investigation Results

Part 1

Ms Maughan’s 1st class sorted groups of materials into sets. They counted the number of materials in each set and then compared the sets to see which contained the largest number of item and which contained the least number of items.

Part 2


Ms McNamara’s 3rd class used their maths skills to record some interesting results in their heart rate experiment. They measured their bpm by counting their pulse for 10 seconds and then multiplied this figure by 6.

They also used an online stopwatch to measure how long they needed to take part in each fitness activity.

STEP 5: STEM Show and Tell

Science Open Day

Our Science Open Day took place during Science Week 2018. We set up a ‘Science Circuit’ in our school hall so that every class could showcase some of the great science activities that take place in the classroom. Every class from 1st – 6th had a table in the circuit where children from the class demonstrated a science activity. Each class from Junior Infants to 6th Class had an allocated time within the day to visit the Science Circuit. When the children had completed the science circuit there were additional stations to challenge them. One of these was a Guessing Gallery. 12 science based statements were on display and children had to guess which 3 statements were myths.

Mr MacSweeney’s and Ms Joyce’s 6th classes took part in the Intel Mini Scientist competition. The children demonstrated their investigations for the competition at our Science Circuit. The investigations spanned the science curriculum and certainly did inform and entertain staff and pupils.  A panel of judges then decided which investigation would make it through to the 2nd round of the competition in the IT Blanchardstown. The winner was ‘Do we judge the personality of others based on their appearance?’

When the children returned to their classrooms they took part in a Science Circuit Table Quiz which was based on the investigations that were showcased in the hall.

Designed By