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

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?
6th class: magnetic cars.


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.