Transition year students of Castleisland Community College are presently leading the country in the Water Explorer Competition.
The competition is open to both primary and secondary schools and is about raising awareness of water conservation and issues relevant to water.
Teacher and project facilitator, Doreen Killington explains what the competition is all about:
“This is an international competition that takes place amongst 11 countries and Castleisland Community College is presently in position seven internationally. The competition consists of 24 challenges and is divided into four areas. Marks are awarded after each challenge.
Quality of Water
The first is called fresh water and it involves examining the quality of water in the area.
The students have conducted a field trip to the River Maine to investigate the plant and animal life found there.
They have debated the use of chemicals in farming and will be hopefully planting some trees and vegetation around the school.
The water cycle, water treatment and purification has also been explored. The second area relates to global water and this refers to the impact of climate change here in Ireland where we experience flooding and in developing countries affected by drought.
Hiding in What we Eat
Secret water discovers where water is hiding in what we eat, wear and use every day. It examines the amount of water used in food production and manufacturing.
The students have learnt that recycled paper uses 60% less energy and 80% less water. There is four times more water used to produce beef than chicken and five times more water used to produce coffee than tea.
All students in the school during the Think Wellness Week received recipes using vegetables to help encourage healthier eating.The final area is precious water where students examine ways to stop wasting water to save energy, money and our planet.
Report Dripping Taps
They encourage people to turn off taps properly, report dripping taps, at home turn off the tap while brushing your teeth . The washing machine and dishwasher should only be used when full.
They have presented workshops to all first, second and third years regarding their findings.
This is helping students with Biology, Home Economics, Geography, CSPE and Irish – as they have composed a rap As Gaeilge and they have taught their rap to three classes.
Rubbish by the River Maine
They are making pumps in construction studies to show how water is obtained in the developing world and they will be making ornaments in engineering from empty tin cans that they found as rubbish by the River Maine. The final assessment for the competition will be in April.
The school has already been awarded a camera for their excellent efforts. It is certainly an enjoyable, exciting and fun way to learn about the topic.”
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