Discovery Primary Science

The Discover Primary Science and Maths Programme (DPSM) is part of Science Foundation Ireland Education and Public Engagement Programme, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public



Living Things – Tadpoles.

We had tadpoles visit our school for a few weeks. We watched them change and grow. We learnt all about the life cycle of a frog. When the tadpoles got bigger they were brought back to the pond.

Living Things: Mini Beast Hunt.

Living Things – Cress seeds.

Energy & Forces: Ramp Experiment.

Materials: What happens to a jelly baby when left in water for a few days?

Our Predictions.
Our Predictions.
The Result.

Skittles Rainbow.

Environmental Awareness and Care: Our Vegetable Garden.

We planted our own vegetables. We planted cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, sweetcorn and herbs. We harvested them in autumn time. They tasted great!

Environmental Awareness and Care: Sun Eclipse.

STEP 1 – Science Events.

Teddy Bear Hospital.

This year we took part in the Teddy Bear Hospital over zoom.

Science Speaker: Geoff Hunt. (wildflowers & trees)

We collected Native Irish Wildflowers from around our school grounds today!
We worked in pairs learning about flowers, how they grow and we gathered wildflowers from around the school.
We learnt about soil, photosynthesis, glucose, carbon dioxide, water, sun and leaves.

Science Speaker: Geoff Hunt. (pond dipping)

4th, 5th and 6th classes went pond dipping in the canal with Geoff Hunt.

Science Speaker: Zoom. Crime Scene Investigation.

5th & 6th classes were Crime Scene Investigators today. They tested soil and ink samples from the ‘scene of a crime’. This was done over zoom through Mary Immaculate College.

STEP 2 – Technology


3rd class made some fantastic creations with lego. They programmed their creations using the lego spike app.

School Podcast.

The 6th class boys have their own school podcast. They record school news. We listen back in all the classes.

STEP 3: Engineering.

Wind Turbines.

Bionic Hands.

Build a Bridge.

5th class designed and created bridges.

Tallest Tower Challenge.

4th class had to construct the tallest tower possible using only A4 sheets of paper.

Design and Make: Headphones.

Daddy Bear can’t sleep. Senior Infants designed and made headphones for him to block out all the sounds that are keeping him awake at night.

STEP 4: Maths.

Maths Week 2021/22.

Every class took part in a maths trail and competitions during Maths Week.

Shape Hunt.

1st class were amazed by the amount of shapes they found in their school environment.

Using Maths Skills

The Green Schools Committee used bar graphs to present data on traveling to school.
Using Maths in the school environment.
Making numbers on peg boards during aistear time.

STEP 5: STEM Showcase.

The School Council did a number of presentations to all the classes in the school. They are trying to raise awareness on global warming and climate change amongst the children and staff in our school. We are participating in the INTO one million tree campaign. The aim of this campaign is to plant one million trees in Africa and in Ireland.



Living Things – The Importance of Washing your Hands.

Living Things – My Reaction Times.

We worked in pairs to test our reaction times. I held a reaction strip at the 0.0 point. Then I dropped the strip and my friend had to catch it as quick as he could. Then my friends held the reaction strip and I had to catch it. We tested this out a few times and compared our results.

Materials & Change.

Many of the classes were given some cooking/baking activities to do at home during school closure. The children used their mathematical skills to measure out of the ingredients. They created a chemical reaction by mixing the wet ingredients with the dry ingredient (baking powder). They observed chemical changes when heat changed a liquid into a solid.

Materials & change – the affects of different liquids on eggs.

Senior Infants observed the changes to eggs when left in liquids for a number of days. They left the eggs in a variety of liquids such as water, vinegar, coke, sugary water, and orange juice. The vinegar dissolved the shell of the egg and the egg became rubbery. The coke changed the colour of the egg. The orange juice formed a layer on the egg shell. The water did not cause any changes to the egg.

Energy and Forces – Dancing Raisins.

Energy and Forces – Lemon Volcano.

Energy and Forces – Balloon Experiment.

Senior Infants investigated how many balloons would be strong enough to hold a table. They discovered that the balloons were so strong that they also held up to 7 senior infant boys.

Environmental Awareness and Care – The Water Cycle.

1st class have been learning about the water cycle. Following last nights frost we went outside and watched the frost turning to water and evaporating into the atmosphere from our raised beds out the back of our school!

I hope you can make out the dew rising on the photo. 

STEP 1 – Science Events.

This year instead of attending science events during Science Week we had some virtual events over zoom.

  • 5th class did a Bio-Plastics workshops through Mary Immaculate College. They sent the materials to us. The boys used pipettes and created their own filtration system. They turned milk powder into a plastic.
  • 3rd class took part in a virtual show called ‘Dino Down Under’ with Dale Treadwell.
  • 2nd class took part in a virtual event called ‘That’s Nonsense’, with Ginny Smith.
  • 6th class took part in a virtual event called ‘Surprising Science’ with Dr. Matt Pritchard.

STEP 2 – Technology.

School Radio Show.

5th class have their own radio show which they present to all classes through zoom. They share school news, do interviews, quizzes and lots more.

Online Research.

During the school closure Senior Infants did a research project on penguins. They had to do an internet search and watch some videos about penguins. They used this information to put a project together. They uploaded their work to Class Dojo student portfolio.

Book Creator.

Look at some of the fantastic work done by 1st class on Book Creator.

6th class working on Kahoots.
Seniors working on Reading Eggs.


Design and Create a Tower.

We had to design and create a tower in our groups. We could only use 90cm of tinfoil and nothing else. We had to make the tower as tall as possible and it had to be free standing.

Paper planes.

We designed and made our own paper planes. We measured the distance they traveled.

Design & Create a Bridge.

The goats want to get to the other side of the bridge. We had to design and create a bridge that would allow the goats to cross over to the other side to avoid the troll.


Maths Week 2020.

Wow!! What a wonderful week of learning took place in our school during this year’s Maths week. Fun and games were the order of the day and despite the many restrictions placed on everyone at this time the teachers and pupils had an experience they will remember. Well done and a big thank you to Mrs O’Sullivan for raising our awareness of Maths and providing lots of fun activities for all the classes to try out.

Maths Trail.


Senior Infants estimated that it would take between 4-12 books to break the egg. When they carried out the experiment they discovered that it took 17 books to break the egg.


Check out some of Senior Infant’s patterns which they did at home during the school closure. They made patterns using food and cutlery.



Living Things: Autumn.

Senior Infants went on two nature walks – one at the beginning of autumn and one at the end of autumn. They noticed the autumnal changes between the two nature walks. Third class did a project on trees.

Living Things: Mini-Beast Hunt.

We went on a mini-beast hunt. We used nets and pooters to collect the insects. We found woodlice, earwigs, ants, spiders, slugs, snails and green flies. The best places to find the insects were under the rocks, on the back of the leaves and beside the compost bin.

Materials – Lava Lamps.

Materials and change – Baking.

  • Queen Cakes.
  • Scones.
  • Gingerbread Men.
  • Flapjacks.
  • Pizza.

Materials and Change – Scrambled Eggs.

Materials – Cleaning Coins.

We used vinegar, water, washing up liquid, lemon juice, coke and ketchup to clean coins. The vinegar cleaned the coins the best. The water and ketchup and no effect in cleaning the coins.

Energy and Forces – Volcanoes.

We made volcanoes using clay. We made them erupt by adding vinegar and bread soda.

Energy and Forces – Magnets.

Senior Infants tested a range of materials to see whether they are magnetic or non-magnetic.

Environmental Awareness and Care – Our School Garden.

5th and 6th class are building a new school garden with the help of Áine Ní Fhlaratha from the Heritage in School Scheme and with David our caretaker. Over the next few weeks we will plant flowers and vegetables in the flower beds.

Environmental Awareness and Care – Bird Feeders.

We made bird feeders using nuts, seeds and fat. We put them out in winter time. We observe the birds that eat the food. So far we have seen robins, crows and blackbirds.

STEP 1: Science Events.

Falconry Experience.

We had a falconry experience in our school. We got to hold a barn owl, a buzzard, a peregrine falcon and a golden eagle. We learnt some new information about these birds.

  • The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird in the world.
  • The Golden Eagle is a bird of prey.
  • The barn owl is a nocturnal animal.
  • Buzzards lay their eggs in holes in the ground.

Animal Magic.

2nd class went to an animal magic workshop during science week. They got to see, hold and learn some new information about some amazing animals.

Science Workshop.

3rd and 4th classes went to Mary Immaculate College during science week. They were split into groups and worked on the following:

  • acids and bases.
  • airzooka.
  • magnets.
  • forces.
  • keeping liquids warm.
  • floating and sinking – design a boat.
  • fizz inflator.

STEP 2: Technology.


Analogue devices provided us with an excellent workshop on robotics. We learned so much about coding and we had lots of fun.


Many classes in our school are using see-saw. This is a digital portfolio where we save our best work.


We often use Kahoot for assessment.

Book Creator.

We are all using Book Creator in St. Patrick’s. We create digital stories online. 5th & 6th class boys buddy up with infants to help them create stories online.

STEP 3: Engineering.

Bubble Blow Wands.

Senior infants designed and created their own bubble blow wands to blow bubbles with. Each wand had to be made with a pipe cleaner that was physically changed. Each wand had to be a different 2D shape. The circle bubble blow was the most effective.

Rocket Launch.

5th class designed Styrofoam rockets. They measured the distance the rockets traveled.


Senior infants have been learning all about bridges. We looked at some famous bridges around the world and some local bridges in Limerick. We compared them and noticed their features.

Next, we made some bridges using paper and books. We discovered that you can make a bridge stronger by putting an arch under it. We can also make a bridge stronger by pushing the beams closer together.

We then constructed bridges using lego and blocks. Our bridges had to be strong enough for a car to drive over and wide enough for a boat to go under.

We painted some pictures inspired by Claude Monet’s Water Lilies. First, we made a bridge using masking tape, then we painted the background and finally we peeled off the masking tape to reveal a bridge.

STEP 4: Maths.


As a whole school we are focusing on length. Many classes are split into small groups and working with their class teacher and SETs to solve problems involving length.

Maths Games.

During maths week the children were split into small group to play maths games in the hall. These games are now used on rainy days and for golden time.

Maths Problems.

Senior infants solved some real life maths problems and some practical maths problems.

Maths Trail.

Every class took part in a maths trail during maths week.

These are some of the tasks the children solved.

Some of our Maths week winners.

STEP 5: STEM Showcase.

We presented some experiments to the whole school during science week. We practiced these in our class, we designed posters and then we presented them to the other children.

Fizz Inflator.

Magnetic Car.

Static Electricity.

Mirror Writing.


My Reaction Time.

Balloon Rocket Launch.

My Dominant Eye.

Finger Prints.


STEP 1: Hands-on Investigations.

Living Things.

Mini-Beast Hunt.

We went on a mini-beast hunt. We used pooters and nets to find some small insects.

  • TJay found a centipede. It has 100 legs.
  • Tommie and Tyreak found some greenflies on the back of leaves.
  • Kuba and Alan found slugs under a big stone.
  • Jonathon and Marcel found some ants.
  • Ellis found a wood louse.
  • AJ found a big spider. It has eight legs.
  • Jonathon found a beetle under a rock.
  • We saw ladybirds, flies and butterflies.
  • Aaron found a green caterpillar. It will turn into a butterfly soon.
  • We used a magnifying glass to examine the insects.


Senior Infants and 1st classes went on nature walks at the beginning and end of autumn.

We went to the park on a nature walk. We saw some evergreen trees. These trees do not change color and their leaves do not fall off. We saw a beech tree. It’s leaves were falling off. We saw red, yellow, brown and orange leaves in the park.

3rd class did a project on trees.

Senior Infants planted bulbs in autumn and observed them grow.

Energy and Forces.

Dancing Raisins.

Results: The raisins danced in the fizzy drink. They did not dance in the water.


Our Results.

Magnetic or non-magnetic?


Investigating slopes.

3rd class experimented with slopes and different materials on slopes. Firstly, we predicted on which surface (wood, carpet, vinyl or sandpaper) would the car travel the furthest. We carried out the experiment keeping the height of the slope the same but we changed the material. The car traveled the furthest on the wooden surface. The car traveled the shortest distance on the sandpaper. Next, we changed the height of the slope. The car traveled further on each surface when we changed the height of the slope.

Materials and change.

2nd class learned all about the effects of sugar on egg shells.

Our predictions:


The sugary drinks; coke, ribena, 7up, and lucozade sport caused the egg shells to crack and change color. The egg shell stayed the same in water.

Environmental awareness and care.

1st class were learning all about recycling. They sorted a number of materials into the correct bins. We are a Greens School and we recycle everyday.

  • We recycle paper.
  • We put fruit into the compost bin.
  • We use cardboard boxes for junk art.
  • We draw on the back of waste paper.
  • At home we bring glass bottles to the bottle bank.

5th class took part in a litter pick in Garryowen.

We are working for our 3rd Green flag. We are trying our best to save water in our school.
These are some of our water slogans.

  • Use it, don’t waste it.
  • We rely on water, don’t let water rely on us.
  • The water you save could make somebody’s life change.
  • One day bathing in water, the next day bathing in nothing.
  • Water is the key to you body’s energy.
  • Watch the flow of water, save H2O.

School Garden.

STEP 1: Science Events.

Magic of Space.

2nd class went to LIT for a Magic of Space show.

  • They showed us a bubble rocket. This was a tube and when you step on it a foam rocket shoots up and bubbles come out. We predicted the distance the foam rockets would travel.
  • We saw a rocket launch.
  • We saw astronaut’s pee. This was mixed with another liquid. It was poured onto a teacher’s head but then it turned to snow.
  • We saw an experiment on how to make elephant’s toothpaste.
  • When you put a mentos into a can of coke it overflows.
  • We saw an experiment where a liquid changed color – 1st clear, then yellow, then dark blue and finally black.

Hands-on Workshop.

3rd & 4th classes went to Mary Immaculate College during Science Week. There they carried out a number of hands-on science experiments.

  • Rainstorm in a jar.
  • Oobleck.
  • Blowing up balloons using vinegar and baking soda.
  • How much sugar is in fizzy drinks?
  • Sorting materials.
  • Magnets.

Science Show in LIT.

5th class went to LIT during Science Week. There they observed and carried out a number of experiments.

STEP 1: Science Speaker.

Energy workshop.

Áine from an Táisce came to our school to speak to us about energy and how to save energy.

  • We played an energy game.
  • We did an experiment where energy traveled from one ball to another.
  • Áine showed us a rocket launch experiment.
  • We met Guzzler who taught us how to save energy at home and at school.
  • We read a big book about saving energy.

STEP 2: Technology.

Each class is timetabled to use laptops and iPads every week. The following are some of the activities we do on them:

  • Microsoft Word.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Microsoft Excel.
  • Kahoot.
  • Story Jumper.
  • Pivot Animator.
  • Scratch.
  • Incredibox.
  • Google Earth & Google Maps.
  • YouTube.
  • Google Search for project work.


The people from Learnit gave us all a laptop and a big box of Lego and motors. We followed the instructions to build a robot. Next, we made a code on the laptop. We plugged a USB into the robot to transfer the code from the laptop to the robot. We completed a load of challenges throughout the day. One of the challenges was to make the robot go through a track. When you go through the track you get a color sensor (e.g red). Then you make the robot do anything when it sees red e.g. stop.

Buddy Laptops.

Senior Infants have a buddy in 5th class. The 5th class boys show the senior infants how to turn on the laptop, type on Microsoft Word, how to connect to the internet and how to shut down the laptop.

PowerPoint Presentations.


Story Jumper.

STEP 3: Engineering.


Senior Infants have been learning all about bridges. We looked at pictures of some well known bridges and noticed their features.

  • The Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge.
  • Thomand Bridge.
  • Boal’s Bridge Limerick.

Next, we made some bridges using paper and books. We discovered that you can make a bridge stronger by putting an arch under it. We can also make a bridge stronger by pushing the beams closer together.

We designed our own bridges.

We went for a walk and we found two bridges. We noticed their features. One bridge has an arch. We drew a picture of this bridge. We walked under another bridge. This bridge had big beams of concrete under it to support it.

Rocket Launch.

Put an alka-seltzer into a film canister. Add vinegar. Turn it upside down. Stand back and wait for it to launch.

Rocket Launch.

What we learnt: The alka-seltzer dissolved in the canister. The gas (carbon dioxide) in the canister has no where to go. When too much gas builds up it launches into the air.

Aeronautical Engineering.

We designed paper planes based on the wings of a flying bird. Our plane had to fly at least two meters and we measured whose plane flew the furthest.


Senior Infants love making constructions with Lego.

STEP 4: Maths.

Early Mathematical Activities.

Junior and Senior Infant maths is taught through the Ready Set Go and Mata sa Rang programs. The children develop and consolidate their understanding of number through activities and interactive games.

1st class: Shape & Space.

1st class boys explored shape and space in their school environment. They went on a 2D shapes treasure hunt. They found some regular 2D shapes and were even surprised to find some irregular shapes.

Maths Trails.

2nd, 3rd & 4th class boys took part in maths trails during maths week.

  • They counted the cars in the car park and grouped them on a bar chart according to color
  • They estimated and counted the vertical and horizontal bars on the school gate.
  • They counted the square and rectangular windows on the school building.
  • They listed the odd and even numbers on the school clock.
  • They measured a bench using hand spans.
  • They estimated and checked how many children can sit on a bench.
  • They estimated and measured the length and width of the school hall using a meter stick.
  • They found examples of 2D shapes around the school.

Maths Week 2018/2019.

The St. Patrick boys were very busy during maths week 2018/19. Mrs. O’Sullivan ran coloring competitions for the junior classes and daily brainteasers for the senior classes.

  • Junior & senior infants played maths games daily.
  • 1st class took part in a maths treasure hunt.
  • 2nd, 3rd & 4th classes took part in maths trails.
  • 5th & 6th class boys took part in chess competitions.


Senior Infants enjoyed making pictures using tangrams.

STEP 5: STEM Showcase.

6th class demonstrated a variety of experiments to the rest of the school during science week.

  • Magnetic Car Race.
  • Static Electricity & Wiggly Worms.
  • Mirror Writing.
  • Oobleck.
  • Reaction Time.
  • Balloon Time.
  • Floating Eggs.
  • Fizz Inflater.
  • Finding Finger Prints.
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