May 2015

CHALLENGE TO CHANGE: On Thursday last, students from Transition Year travelled to Kilkenny to take part in the Presentation Sisters Seminar ‘Challenge to Change’. Here pupils from Presentation schools nationwide showcased their project work on various social and ecological issues. This year our ‘Challenge to Change’ project set out to examine the struggle for women's rights nationally and internationally. In researching the project the Transition years examined areas where women’s rights are denied and also gained an insight into the lives of inspirational women. A guest speaker from Action Aid Ireland also came to our school and spoke to the students and the girls held an event in the School Hall to mark International Women's Day on May 8th. The Transition Year’s carried out project work in the following areas: Women in Sport, Women in Politics, Women in Science, and Human Trafficking to name but a few. The girls on the day presented their project work to the other Presentation schools and also took part in interesting workshops on "80/20" and "Water Conservation". Many thanks to the Transition Year Religion teachers and the Presentation Sisters for facilitating such a wonderful event.

‘STEPS ENGINEERING IRELAND’ SCHOOL VISIT PROGRAMME. Emma McKendrick, the Managing Director of Punch Consulting Engineers came to our school to talk to the Transition Years and Fifth Years recently about her experience of engineering and her involvement in the design of buildings such as Thomond Park in Limerick. She also spoke about the different opportunities for graduates in the field of engineering. It was lovely to see the broadness and diversity of such a field put into perspective. Emma informed the girls that engineering is about being able to think logically about a problem as most calculations and equations are completed on the computer. Emma also told us about how there is currently a minority of female engineers in the sector and how she would like to see more females in the engineering world. Emma is an inspiration to all us budding engineers and we thank her for this informative and engaging talk.

TY CHINESE CULTURAL CAMP AT SHANGHAI UNIVERSITY:Two Transition Year students Sophie Loughnane and Daria Lipinski travelled to Shanghai in China during the Easter holidays to take part in a Chinese Language Easter Camp. Throughout the two weeks they visited many famous Chinese landmarks including the East Pearl TV Tower, Zhujiajiao (Ancient town), Suzhou and Hangzhou. The girls enjoyed an acrobatic show and went on a river cruise on the Huangpu River. As part of the camp theyattended Chinese classes daily and improved their understanding of the Chinese language. The Chinese classes held in our school during the year benefited the girls during their time in Shanghai. During their leisure time they were able to spend some time in the city centre and the shopping malls. Going to China was a great experience for the girls and a once in a lifetime opportunity they will never forget.

BASKETBALL NEWS- UNDER 15 ALL IRELAND PLAYOFFS:On Saturday 25thof April, Presentation Thurles travelled to St Vincent’s Secondary School Cork to contest the All-Ireland playoffs. The opposition for the games was provided by the current All Ireland champions St Vincent’s and Presentation Castleisland. Our team had a good performance against St Vincent's. The game was exciting with good skills on display from both teams. Megan Woodlock dominated the boards and got some brilliant scores to keep her team in contention. The score at half time was 24-16 in favour of St Vincent's. The second half saw St Vincent’s step up the intensity, completely blunting the Thurles attack. The Thurles girls just couldn’t find the answers to St Vincent’s superiority in the second half. Presentation battled hard with some excellent offensive scores from Marie Creedon and Anna Dunne. Laoise Nugent and Lilly Hobbs stepped up their defence to get a number of steals resulting in scores on the fast break. Final Score: 46-24 in favour of St Vincent’s. Presentation Castleisland provided the opposition for the second game. A win was essential if we were to have any hope of qualification for the All- Ireland Final. Presentation took the lead early in the first half and gave a good performance overall. Marie Creedon finished the game on 10 points and Clara Shanahan gave a fantastic defensive display. However the speed and skill levels of the Kerry girls proved too strong and they ran out winners of the game. Tournament favourites and Cork champions St Vincent’s were the winners on the day and they go forward to contest the All- Ireland Final. Overall, the second year basketball team have had a fantastic season. They have shown excellent progress throughout the season and we are already looking forward to competing at Cadette A level next season.

       Science Students Scoop Sensational Prize!

Presentation Secondary School Thurles has been announced as the winner of the Saffron School Science Competition 2015. They beat the nine other finalists shortlisted from a tremendous total of ninety seven entries received this year.  Entrants were asked to create a three minute video around the question ‘How can science and technology make transport networks and systems more intelligent?’ Secondary schools students from every corner of the country put their minds to the test over the past few months, exploring ground breaking innovations from around the globe as well as some of their own concepts. The successful second year girls at Presentation Secondary School Thurles investigated the potential benefits of using electric cars in their own town. Thurles is a medium sized town servicing a large rural area and many people use private transport. They demonstrated how using electric cars would make their town safer, quieter and more energy efficient. They also highlighted the technological developments of mobile apps to improve travel time and road safety. The forward thinking pupils who claimed first place in this year’s competition have claimed a fantastic prize of a three day class trip to The European Space Centre in Belgium. They will enjoy fun tuition and experiments in space science, including launching micro-rockets, moonwalk and space shuttle simulations, evening astronomy, and expert talks on the possibility of extraterrestrial life in the galaxy. Congratulations to Naomh Tómas and their teachers Ms O’ Brien and Ms Heffernan.

GREAT IDEAS IN PRESENTATION SECONDARY SCHOOL THURLES: Transition year students Frances O’ Connell and Jayne Dunne were recently announced as Senior Winners of the One Good Idea competition ran by the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). The girls received €1500 for their school and a €150 One4all voucher each. The girls completed a project on “Lower Carbon Farming”. They investigated how different farm management practices can reduce green-house gas emissions and increase a farmer’s profit. The girls presented their findings at the national finals in Dublin Castle. Congratulations girls.

SCIENCE STUDENTS WIN AT SCIFEST: On Thursday 16thApril, Presentation students travelled to LIT Thurles to present their projects at SCIFest.  The girls had great success on the day with second years Ellen O’Donnell, Alice Ryan and Estelle Parkinson winning the ISTA Junior award and TY students Michelle Ryan and Caoimhe Lanigan who won the Abbott Runner-up best project award.  Well done to all the girls involved. Projects presented on the day included: Second years Ellen O’Donnell, Estelle Parkinson and Alice Ryan – “Gas Hear – A device to prevent lives being lost to slurry fumes”. TY students: Michelle Ryan and Caoimhe Lanigan – “To compare the cancerous effects of e-cigarettes vs. cigarettes and observe how they affect cancer cell growth”. Bronagh Morrissey, Flavia Alvarez and Lucy Kenney – “An exploration of the effects of slurry usage on the earthworm population and hence, on soil health on Irish farms”. Jayne Dunne and Frances O’Connell –“Lower carbon farming”. Emma Finlay and Keelan Flynn –“Medical devices for the sustainable future”. Fifth year students Laura Quigley, Caroline Fogarty, Aoife Bergin and Niamh Houlihan – “To investigate the factors that affect meat quality”. Well done to all the girls who took part. 

DIGITAL YOUTH COUNCIL: Presentation Secondary School student, Caitlin Donnelly has been recently elected to the Digital Youth Council. The Digital Youth Council is the first of its kind to launch in Europe. It has been established by sixteen year old Tech Entrepreneur and founder of Kid Tech, Harry McCann, with the help of Ciaran Cannon, TD, and the Director of Galway Education Centre, Bernard Kirk. Comprising of some of the top young people in tech in Ireland, the Youth Council aims to give a voice to young people involved in technology in Ireland and provide them with a platform to influence the National Digital Strategy, and the future of technology in education. A key ambition is to establish mini-councils in schools around Ireland, and gather the views and opinions of young people across the country, in order to influence and feedback directly to those working within the Irish Government, EU Commission, business and the tech community. We wish Caitlin every success during her term which begins next month.

GREEN SCHOOL NEWS: Presentation Thurles is happy to be part of the An Taisce Green School Programme. There are six themes in all - Litter & Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity, and Global Citizenship. We are currently working on flag number four - the Travel theme. For this theme we encourage everyone to minimize his/her carbon footprint by walking, cycling, carpooling, or using public transport to get to and from school. Recent in-house competitions included - “Design Your Own (original) Walking Boot/Shoe”. Aisling Walsh and Aoibheann Duggan won this competition. Another interesting competition was “Love Where You Live” Photo and Project competition. First prize went to Clodagh Fitzpatrick. Our next competition is “Design a Week’s In-Season Menu.” Bike Week at Presentation Thurles is scheduled for the week beginning May 18th. There will be spot prizes for those who cycle to school for five consecutive days that week. Now that the weather is improving, why not “walk, run and just have fun”? A Slogan Competition will be held that week also. Overall, it has been a productive year for our Green School initiative. We now have new, clearly designated bins, funded with prize money we won last March when we were one of four schools who reached the national finals of the An Taisce Green School Awards in Croke Park, Dublin. Further success followed in October of this year when the Minister for the Environment, Alan Kelly, awarded us joint second prize in the Regional Tidy Schools Competition. Our commitment to Green issues involves everyone in our school, both students and staff. 





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