We have published our Transition Year Students Syllabus!

Our Transition Year Syllabus has been published!

‘Boost Biology with Bats’

Transition Year Syllabus: Explore concepts of Genetics, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology using bats.

The book is now available from the UCD website (http://www.ucd.ie/scienceforschools/), free of charge, to all secondary schools. It’s worth checking it out – these materials contain plenty of interesting student activities, allowing to bring the excitement of cutting-edge science into the secondary school classroom. We are also going to lauch a science video competition for Irish secondary school students soon (http://www.ucd.ie/scienceforschools/video_competition.html), so stay tuned!

Week 4-Day 5

Alas the end of bat camp!  BATS, BATS, BATS- everyone I encounter has heard so much about how amazing bats are that by this stage they are BAT BORED!  There is a great RTE clip on You Tube-( Living the Wildlife:Bats) you just can’t help liking and being interested in them.

The write up needs pruning but after the weekend it will be complete.  I hope it helps someone somewhere love biology as much as I do.  Clare and I have poured a huge amount of effort into the creation into what we hope is a good resource, merging the world of bats and evolutionary biology.  Aimed at being light, breezy, informative and not a chore to use -we hope we have achieved this.

Models have been made, hair lost, wrinkles formed, knowledge and experience gained all in the name of TY students!!!

Special Thanks to Professor Teeling, Joanna, Dr. Lao, Graham, Zixia, Rich, Peter & Clare.  Wishing all at UCD continued success-great place to study!!!!!!!!!!

Learned so much!

Learned so much!

Studied alot!

Studied alot!

Watched many YOUTube Clips on bats!

Watched many YOUTube Clips on bats!

PH.D Students Modelled DNA!

PH.D Students Modelled DNA!

Listed in the Top 1000 Universities in the World!

Listed in the Top 1000 Universities in the World!

Loved the LAB!!!!!!

Loved the LAB!!!!!!

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Molecular model project for TY

Molecular model project for TY

Spent day writing the DNA introductory section of the student book. As it’s TY am including extra material-The Central Dogma for one! Sense Strand and Non-Sense for another. Next week will be adding the Batlab specific material- students won’t get it unless they know genetic basics.

Richard Dawson has produced the most amazing template to create a huge class DNA model, there are so many to choose from, however I have spent Saturday and Sunday printing, laminating and cutting, it looks great, definitely will be an eye catching piece in any lab. I know students will love making this.

Part of the model template-all hand drawn!

Part of the model template-all hand drawn!

Have commissioned many other drawings to help the visual  learners i.e. Most of us, so thanks Rich!!

Posting this on Sunday night, so a bit late!

Week 3- Day 4. UCD Batlab – Making the teaching resource.

 

The sunshine fills UCD-beautiful day!

The sunshine fills UCD-beautiful day!

A day spent thinking, typing, tabling and researching. Theory is great but young students want hands on- so trying to come up with as many model making activities that involve the whole class.

Thinking-Thinking- how do you add the elements of the bat lab to Transition Year.

Darwin-The beginning of Phylogeny.

Darwin-The beginning of Phylogeny.

Calling industrious pH students, Reading University has a great PCR kit specifically for U.K. Secondary Schools- unfortunately don’t ship outside U.K. Irish schools need something like this-PCR needs to be taught-possible business opportunity with other school lab supply companies?
A Transition year resource if designed well can leave your lab filled with the most amazing teaching aids, models which schools cannot afford can sometimes be manufactured by the students- active learning and a bit craic!

Just compiling questions for a crossword.

Week 3 – Day 3. Writing up

UCD-Science Block-seriously impressive inside!

UCD-Science Block-seriously impressive inside!

Listed in the Top 1000 Universities in the World!

Listed in the Top 1000 Universities in the World!

Today Clare and I commenced production of the T Y student activity book. Underestimated the task ahead-must include an introduction to genetics as Junior Cert science discusses the existence of chromosomes- that’s it!

Before Bat lab specific material can be introduced to any TY we have to bridge the gap  between junior cert science and Senior biology.

Students entering TY literally only know about the existence and number of chromosomes in the nucleus of human cells. Material has to be developed to introduce DNA, cells, genetics etc with enough depth to enable comprehension of bat lab research but not over kill- TY students are still quite young.

No cool addition to the blog today- just desk work.

Bats are crucial in seed dispersal-a picture is worth a thousand words!

Bats are crucial in seed dispersal-a picture is worth a thousand words!

Week 3- Day 2

 

Many thanks to R.A.Dawson for the drawings.

Many thanks to R.A.Dawson for the drawings.

Today we delved a little deeper into using the bat sensors. There are 3 categories of sensor, the more high tech of which record sonograms of the bat calls. These can then be plugged into computer programmes which produce a sonogram (graph) of the call.

The finely tuned ear of a bat lab scientist can identify the species from the graph as you can determine with great accuracy the frequency of the call and it’s duration.

There are even programmes which have some of the bat species sonograms already inputted and the new call is immediately identified .

We also learned a great deal about wind farms and their impact on bats-much of the data relates to migratory bats but Irish bats don’t seem to act in this way. So Una is collecting data investigating the impact of Wind farms on Irish bats.

Collecting bats for identification is a huge part of bat lab research and we had a chance to put up the mesh trap and the Harp trap.

Una & Clare set  up the Harp trap.

Una & Clare set up the Harp trap.

Harp Trap Strings

Harp Trap Strings

Mesh trap

Mesh trap