Course Descriptions

Please see below courses for our online Autumn 2020 programmes. Students do one course for the six week period. 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.

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.

¡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!‌

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 encouraged to develop curiosity and to ask questions.

Topics will include:

  • Historical maps
  • Interactive maps
  • Exploring Google Earth
  • Meteorological instruments, sources of historical climate data and climate data rescue
  • Weather experiments
  • Testing pH of water samples

* some materials will need to be purchased for this course. A full list will be sent in advance of courses starting

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 this is a biological problem, analysing these difference uses aspects of 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 to study genetic variation among populations, the ancient genomes of our ancestors and the prediction of traits using techniques often used by companies such as Google and Netflix when generating or personalising search results. Each lecture will contain a hands-on practical lesson which will aim to use computer programming skills to analyse and visualise biological data.

 * some materials will need to be purchased for this course. A full list will be sent in advance of courses starting

Biomedical Engineering: Our Body the Machine

 During this 6-week interactive course you will learn about the efficient machine that is the human body from the perspective of engineers. Biomedical engineering applies engineering knowledge to the human body and medical field. Each week a new thematic area will be covered and throughout the course you will be making everything from hands to hearts while using your engineering skills figure out the mechanics behind how they work.

 * some materials will need to be purchased for this course. A full list will be sent in advance of courses starting

Art on the Brain

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.

*students will need a pencil and some paint for this course. Further information will be given in advance of courses starting

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: 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.

*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.

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.

Wonderful Colourful Chemistry

This interactive course introduces participants to the fundamentals of Chemistry, covering concepts such as Atomic theory, Chemical Bonding & Reactions and Density, 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).

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

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  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.

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

 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 need to be purchased for this course. A full list will be sent in advance of courses starting


  • Youth Academy Brochure

    Youth Academy Brochure PDF (15.8 MB)

  • Acadamh na hÓige

    Acadamh na hÓige pdf (1.34mb)