Course Descriptions

Please see below courses for our Spring 2020 courses. Students do one course for the six week period. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary.

Courses are subject to change

Idea Detectives: Exploring the World with Philosophy

In this course, we will give children the opportunity to ask and openly discuss philosophical questions.

We will use an educational approach called P4C (Philosophy for Children). P4C is the name that Professor Matthew Lipman gave to his project of using the discipline of philosophy as a resource to help children become more intellectually energetic, curious, and critical. P4C is an enquiry-based pedagogy, it engages children in developing their own questions in response to a given stimulus. This stimulus could be a story book or novel, a film, an image, a piece of music, or even an object. Guided by a facilitator, the kids enquire collaboratively into their choice of question. Finally, they reflect on their thoughts and participation, and suggest how they could improve on their thinking together for the next enquiry. This process of thinking together helps children learn how to challenge assumptions, give reasons, and, ultimately, cultivate their criticality. Recent research, particularly in the UK, has established that the integration of P4C into both primary and secondary school curricula also increases literacy and numeracy across a range of student cohorts.

Classroom pic

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.

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 week will cover a different type of engineering, including: electronic, civil, mechanical, biomedical, software and aeronautical. During the course we will make everything from electronic circuits and 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.

CSI-How Science solves Crime Scenes

Interested in becoming a detective, working in forensics or a crime scene investigator (CSI)?

Over this 6 week course you will get a find out how science is used to solve crime cases. You will become a CSI expert and solve your own cases. Every week you will be presented with a new case and use your CSI skills to use science to solve your cases. Classes will involve fingerprinting, how chemistry is used to identify different substances and the use of algebra to identify the height of a suspect. At the end, you will work as a team to put all the clues of a crime scene together and solve the big mystery case from the knowledge you gained over the last few weeks.

Herbology and Potions

'Herbology and Potions’ sets out to introduce students to the basics of plant science, morphology, biochemistry, and botanical names. Students will gain practical skills in microscopy by using light microscopes to examine the internal structure of plants. We will explore the different uses of plants in society, such as food, medicine, and ecosystem services by learning about the most useful plants growing in woodlands, grasslands, riversides and even urban areas. Students will make their own herbal 'potions' and remedies to introduce the concept of plant metabolites in medicine and healthcare, as well as their nature and safe application. ‘Herbology and Potions’ aims to instil an understanding and appreciation for the world of plants through fun recipes, interesting projects, delightful stories, colourful pictures, and engaging science.

¡Hablemos español! Learn Spanish through curiosities and odd facts about Spain

“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once” – Czech proverb

What do you know about Spain? Did you know Spanish people have TWO surnames? Also, did you know many people in Spain speaks a different language apart from Spanish (Castilian)? How about the fact that Spanish people celebrate the New Year by eating twelve grapes? Strange, isn’t it? In this course you will be learning Spanish from scratch through curiosities and fun facts about Spain.

You will be discovering new sides of the Spanish culture weekly and playing traditional Spanish games. You will have to put into practice your language skills and become the best communicator in Spanish.

The contents of the modules include six different basic topics in Spanish which will be linked to different locations around the country. Each module will include vocabulary, basic grammar and useful expressions to develop their competence in Spanish. Playing and making mistakes is part of the learning process so fun is guaranteed throughout the course!

Wonderful Colourful Chemistry

This 6-week interactive course introduces participants to the fundamentals of Chemistry, covering concepts such as Atomic theory, Chemical Bonding & Reactions, Fluorescence, in a COLOURFUL way.

Participants should be prepared to become mad scientists with lots of fun experiments from slime making, volcano building to making a rainbow in a bottle incorporated throughout the course (all using items which can be found in the kitchen).

On the final week of the course participants will even get the chance to take a tour of NUI Galway’s Chemistry Labs.


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 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.

Art on the Brain: From Looking to Drawing and Painting

Improve your drawing skills and hone your artistic perception!

This course will teach you how to see and perceive the world as a composite of shapes, a vital part of being able to draw well. It will cover both the technical and the expressive side of drawing and painting. Learn how to draw realistically as a foundation for whatever direction you want to take with your art. We will be doing some exercises from Betty Edwards's classic Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which not only will teach you how to draw (with surprising results within a short period of time!), but will enhance your creativity in general and provide you with valuable problem-solving skills. Colour theory and still life will also be incorporated, and we will work with a variety of media, with the main focus on drawing. You will be encouraged to develop your own style.

Art class

Your Radio: Analysing Media and Making Your Own Show

Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media. This includes; television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music and all other forms of media.

Over this course you will;

  • Identify programme formats, production features and target audiences of different shows
  • Learn basic technical terms for radio & television production
  • Use storyboards and running orders to describe how a programme is structured
  • Plan segments for a show using the broadcast clock
  • Develop a production plan, divide up team roles, prepare a running order and script for your own show
  • Use studio and on location recording equipment to make a short programme which will be broadcast on Flirt FM

Radio Class

Comic Books: Create Your Own Heroes

"Pictures that don't make sense are magic, they hold balls of light covered in millions of spells swirled into a cell." - Alexa Kitchen
Let your creative intelligence flow by creating a comic book idea, character, and storyline. This course will encourage you to be as imaginative as possible, in generating your comic book material. You will research, write, and create theme music for a super hero.

How are comic book heroes similar and different to characters in novels and myths? We'll find out by sharing and comparing our ideas. The course will look at different types of comic books and comic-book heroes. The class will focus on how authors and illustrators present characters to comic-book readers. By doing so, the class will be exposed to the different types of devices developed by comic-book authors. As a result, writing and reading creatively will result in a development of our imaginative faculties, writing techniques, and an understanding of literary form.

 Geographers: the world explorers!

What is a Geographer? Take this enjoyable and interactive course to know!

Over this 6 week interactive course students will become familiar with sources and skills used by Geographers to gather, interpret and produce data in a scientific context. Each lesson covers a new thematic through tuition and hands-on activities in a fun and interactive classroom environment. In this course students will learn new scientific content beyond the school curriculum through: tuition, hands-on activities, discussions with Instructor and peer-interaction. Students are encourage to develop curiosity and to ask questions.

Topics will include:

  • Examining diverse types of maps
  • Exploring Google Earth
  • Meteorological instruments, sources of historical climate data and climate data rescue
  • Climate hazards
  • Beach sediment analysis in laboratory
  • Testing pH of water samples

A fun introduction to Computer Programming, The Internet, and Multimedia

 A wide variety of topics will be covered, introducing students to core programming and design concepts.

After initial tuition in each lecture students will have the opportunity to combine their new technical skills with their own creativity in a hands-on computing laboratory environment. Topics covered will be: application development, website design, gaming, networks (how the internet works) and graphics. Students will become familiar with commercial software such as: Microsoft Visual Studio, Google Sketchup and Scratch. The content of the modules demonstrates a wide array of skills required by IT industry specialists and typically each student will discover their own particular preferences and develop creativity - limited only by their own imagination.

IT class

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.

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.

  • We will all become scientists when we explore where microbes are hiding in the classroom by swabbing surfaces such as your hands, light switches and keyboards to discover what lies beneath.
  • Ever wondered about microorganisms in our food? Uncover how we use different fungi and bacteria to make food products such as cheese, pizza, yoghurts and so many more. Carry out your own fermentation experiment to learn about the process of bread making.
  • Lets put our handwashing skills to the test! We will carry out an experiment to see how many bacteria actually get cleaned away when we wash our hands.
  • Discover the dangerous side of microorganisms and how they can cause disease. We will look down the microscope to see the microorganisms in action.
  • 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 scientists figure out which antibiotics to use?

Exploring Electronics: Learn how to build circuits and robots

Ever wonder how gadgets work? How robots are made and programmed?

In this course you'll learn how electronic circuits work and how to program them using the Arduino platform. You'll learn the basics of programming and how to make use of sensors, motors and LEDs to create your own fantastic projects and bring your ideas to life.

Electronics class

The Mysterious Mind

In class, you will learn about psychology by doing group work, 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

Hands on Science with Cell EXPLORERS!

Become a scientist and practice experiments in the lab with the Cell EXPLORERS team.
You will find out how our bodies work and about the amazing world of cells, which are found in all living things. You will get to look at cells under the microscope, learn about different types of cells and use the scientific method to investigate what happens inside cells! From this course you will bring back knowledge at home and be able to share what you learn with your friends and family!

When Science meets Medicine

Learn about how scientists and doctors work together, and how scientific experiments can help us understand how our bodies work.

You will learn how some of the organs and systems of the body function, and how doctors can use this information to help keep us healthy. Through fun activities, learn how the brain controls the body. How is food digested and used as fuel? You will go to the laboratory for two sessions, where you will learn about cells and what they need to survive. Use a microscope to see how cells can thrive, and what happens when we change their temperature, oxygen and other conditions. Spend two sessions with a doctor who will show you how the heart and lungs keep us alive and healthy by taking oxygen from the air and carrying it all around the body. Learn about bones and muscles, and see how doctors use x-rays to figure out what to do when injuries happen.

*Please note three different instructors will teach this course covering two weeks each. Two of the classes will take place in a lab beside the hospital.