Last week, pupils from 8C and 8D each spent a morning enjoying the Science-Literacy Project (a research collaboration between Queen's Education Department and St Malachy's College). All members of 8C met in the Careers suite on Wednesday, 17th June, while 8D spent Friday morning in the Crolly Study. They were joined by their Science and English teachers: Dr Roberts, Mr Granville, Ms Hughes and Dr Bailie. The pupils participated in group work and plenary sessions, all focusing on tasks designed to enhance their critical reading and thinking skills. These tasks were created by the Educational Research Team from Queen's University, Belfast, and on Friday, Dr William McClune and Dr Joy Alexander from Queen's joined us for the morning.
The workshops involved tasks centred on an exciting new pharmaceutical product currently being developed and tested at Queen's: microneedles, which can administer medicine in a pain-free way. Dr Roberts explained to us that one of his former pupils from St Malachy's, Dr Martin Garland, has been involved in the project. Following Dr Roberts' presentation, pupils worked in small groups on newspaper reports about the microneedles. They used the ‘News Bug’ to determine the reliability of one article, and they examined the second article using a ‘Certainty Meter’ and evaluating other readers' responses to the article. The sessions flew by, and everyone was thoroughly engaged in each task.
We would like to thank the Education Department at Queen's for allowing us to participate, and all the boys from 8C and 8D for their enthusiastic participation. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and we intend to use some of the techniques and tasks in our own classrooms next year.