Course Descriptions

 Please see below our online Spring 2022 courses. Students attend one course for the six week programme. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary.

Courses are subject to change

Impariamo con i cartoni: learning Italian by captioning and re-voicing cartoons

This course is focused on the needs and interests of children who are learning the Italian language for the first time; children learn better when they have fun and enjoy what they do.

Learning a foreign language can be an enjoyable activity, hence the idea of creating a comfortable and friendly environment where they can make the most of what they learn in this course. During this course, children will have fun learning how to give voice to cartoon characters, audio-describe clips and images, comment on cartoon vignettes, describe stories and rearrange plots, and create subtitles translating from Italian to English. They will meet popular Italian cartoon characters and will learn how to caption and re-voice them, using the online platform ClipFlair (European Link-Link).Additionally, they will develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills while improving their pronunciation and communicative competence in Italian.

¡Vamos español! Let’s explore the Spanish-speaking world


Did you know that 21 countries in the world share Spanish as their official language? Imagine how many places you can visit! This is the best opportunity to learn one of the most spoken languages in the world. Learning a new language helps us to get to know new realities and to see the future with brand new eyes.

In this course we start from zero, with interactive as well as playful activities, practicing new content week to week so that you can start communicating in Spanish easily from the very first day. We will test all your capacities and abilities. Don’t worry if you make a mistake! That’s part of the process of learning. Your aim is to have fun and learn!

For 6 weeks, you are going to study vocabulary, key and useful expressions to communicate, basic grammar and a lot of curiosities about Spain and Latin America. Together, we will travel to the different Spanish-speaking countries all over the world and we won’t even need a boarding pass!

Weird stuff our ancestors did

History is the study of the past. It tells stories of what people did and how they lived.

During this course, stories of invasions, wars, Christianity, famine and a divided island are mixed with tales of the Vikings, the Black Death, life in castles, the Titanic tragedy, music, mobiles and computers. A major emphasis will be placed on the key political and social controversies of Irish history.

Topics that will be covered include:
• Oliver Cromwell and the War of the three Kingdoms
• The 1798 Rebellion
• The Great Famine
• Revolutionary Ireland
• Modern Ireland
• The ‘troubles'

Students will both individually and as part of groups become familiar with original documents from the past and learn how to interpret these sources. They will discover major figures from Ireland's past and explore how key events transformed the island.

DNA: The Data Inside Us

The DNA inside every living thing is an instruction manual for how that organism can be built and enables our planet to be incredibly diverse. Analysing this data reveals interesting information from why some people prefer dark chocolate and even how some ancient populations have passed on traits that allow us to thrive today. While these are biological problems, these differences are investigated using computer and data science making it an exciting and multi-dimensional field.

This course will begin with an introduction into the core concepts of genetics before moving on to how data science techniques can be used to analyse DNA. Rather than focusing on how traditional laboratory science is used to study DNA we will instead see how data science and computer programming can be used to study topics such as:
• How DNA can vary among populations
• Ancient DNA of our ancestors
• DNA of bacteria and viruses
• Prediction of traits using techniques often used by companies such as Google and Netflix when generating or personalising search results

Each lecture will tackle a major area of genomics such as population or ancient genomics and discuss what the associated data can tell us. We will then analyse this data using coding exercises or biological databases to demonstrate skills used by both biological and data scientists which are successfully combined in the area of genomics

A World that we Cannot See: The Secret Life of Microbes

This course teaches you all about microorganisms, the good, bad and evil! Learn all about their secret world through fun and interactive experiments.

• Ever wondered about microorganisms in our food? Uncover how good microbes can be used to make food products. Carry out your own fermentation experiment at home to learn about the process of bread making.

• Lets put hand hygiene to the test! You will carry out an experiment using bread to see how many microbes are actually killed when we clean our hands.

• Discover the dangerous side of microorganisms and how they can cause disease. You will be shown magnified images of different microbes and learn all about the illnesses they can cause.

• Find out how we can fight harmful microorganisms. Discover the world of vaccines and antibiotics, but also how microorganisms can fight back. Can you help the scientist figure out which antibiotics will save the patient?

• Finally you will get to create your own microbe! Decide if you want it to be good or evil and show the class.

*some materials will be required for your child to complete the experiments in this course . A list of items will be supplied in advance of classes starting.

Eco Champions: A Course in All Things Sustainability for a Greener, Bluer World

Join us for an in-depth look at the different causes of climate change and pollution and learn tips and tricks for how we can all do our part to address environmental deterioration by changing our everyday habits. This course will examine the connections between water use, energy use, transportation, biodiversity, waste, recycling, and sustainable shopping and other habits with the climate crisis. We will discuss the current state of the environment, learn about the science behind each sustainability topic, develop solutions for our own communities and lifestyles, and add to our personal sustainability utility belt by participating in hands on eco-activities such as making recycled paper, wildflower planting, and an upcycle (make something new from something old) challenge. We will also hear from experts in various sustainability fields to showcase careers that are focused on tackling environmental destruction and climate change. Do you have what it takes to become an Eco Champion? Join us to earn your stripes!

Storybuilding: Analysing and drafting fiction

This course will teach you all about the process of writing fiction, or ‘story-building’, using extracts from famous children’s authors. You will learn about:

• Genre: How do we distinguish between fantasy, romance, adventure, and crime novels? What influence does the genre have on the story itself, and when can we break genre conventions?
• Character development: How can we build realistic and engaging characters and plan their personal journeys?
• Setting: Why is the setting important, and how can we ‘show not tell’ our characters’ surroundings?
• Structure: What are the different methods for planning story structure, and which method best suits each genre?

You will then put your learnings into practice by taking part in a range of creative writing activities which build your confidence as a writer. By the end of the course, you may have drafted the plot of your first novel or short story!

Introduction to Computer Programming

A wide variety of topics will be covered, introducing students to core programming and design concepts.
Each day there will be a brief introduction video which outlines some fundamental techniques that will be helpful for engaging in the subsequent lecture. This will include a step through of how to open and use any necessary software, as well as some basic examples. This course will cover 3 coding applications including: Sketch-up (an open source architecture design tool), Scratch ( an online animated drag and drop coding interface) and Python ( an online scripting language). There are no downloads required for this course as all of these are available to use online. The content of the modules demonstrates a wide array of skills required by budding IT specialists, typically each student will discover their own particular preferences and develop creativity - limited only by their own imagination.

From Users to Developers: Create your Own App

In this course we will prove to you that programming can be much easier than you thought.
During this 6 week course, we will develop fun Android apps each day, starting from the day 1!
For this, we will be using the MIT App Inventor, which is an intuitive and visual programming environment that allows anyone (especially children) to build fully functional Apps for smartphones and tablets without having to learn complicated programming languages.

By the end of the course, students will be able to develop software by themselves, but most importantly, they will be able to think as developers, which is an essential skill for the future.

The Mysterious Mind

In this course, you will learn about psychology by playing games, doing hands-on activities, and sharing your opinions and ideas. You will also do a lot of fun experiments, and then we will talk about why you did what you did and see what others do. Psychology is in everything from making decisions, playing sports, solving crimes, to doing magic. 

Here are some of the topics we will cover:

  • How to create and run experiments 
  • How our eyes and brain can trick us
  • How we can tell people are lying
  • How our brain works and influences us
  • What type of personality we have
  • How we can win at games
  • How we act differently in groups
  • How police use psychology to solve crimes

The Secret Life of Engineers

What is an Engineer? Take this course to find out! This fun and interactive course with hands on learning gives an excellent introduction and overview of all things engineering. Each day will cover a different type of engineering, examples: civil, mechanical, biomedical, software and aeronautical. During the course we will make everything from  mini catapults to bridges and even paper airplanes. The course will give a fun look at what it is like to be an Engineer and the different areas of engineering you can study.

*some materials will be required for your child to complete the experiments in this course . A list of items will be supplied in advance of classes starting.

BioEngineering: The real life adventures of a cell! 

Bioengineering (a branch of biomedical engineering) is a discipline that applies engineering principles of design and analysis to biological systems and biomedical technologies. Instead of engineering materials such as plastics, metals or ceramics, bioengineers engineer various cells found in (e.g. immune cells) and out (e.g. yeast and bacteria) of the body! This leads to a wide range of ground-breaking discoveries such as medicines for cancer, vaccines to keep you safe during COVID and tasty fermented food you eat (sourbread) and drink (kombucha)! Join me in this 6 week course to look at topics such as Biomaterials and ways to 3D Print them, BioSensors from antigen tests to glucose monitors, Cell biology 101, Genetic engineering – how to modify the world we live in, Vaccines: How we’ve kept the world safe over the last 100 years and functional food for health: how to feed the bugs in your gut!

*some materials will be required for your child to complete the experiments in this course . A list of items will be supplied in advance of classes starting.


  • Youth Academy Brochure

    Youth Academy Brochure PDF (15.8 MB)

  • Acadamh na hÓige

    Acadamh na hÓige pdf (1.34mb)