Portlaoise College’s Geography Classes shine!
In preparation and anticipation of the new Junior Cert Geography course that is to be launched in September 2018, the Geography Department of Portlaoise College launched a competition for a research project for their five 1st year classes. The brief given to the students, was to research a topic already covered in class and design a piece using any materials / resources of their choice and to develop new skills. The five classes really engaged with the competition with a huge number of entrants. Each class was then given time to observe all the participants work, while Mr. Paddy Hamm (M.A. Geography) judged the event. The winners of the competition and their experiences is as follows:
Jake Colbert made the world! Researching the topic of the Earth’s Structure, Jake sourced material to design a globe whereby one could see into its core and different layers. He chose this topic because ‘it was his first topic to study in geography and he was fascinated with it’. His project was carried out over a weekend and said he found the process very enjoyable and was assisted by his younger brother at home.
Katie Linh Roe wowed the judge’s taste buds with her ‘Exploding Volcanic Cake’. The cake was made with vanilla cake batter forming the volcanic cone and the base of the volcano. Chocolate fondant was spread all over the volcano to give an impression of cooled basalt rock while lava oozed out of the volcano made up of red coloured butter cream. Her fellow geography class mates were delighted with this entrance piece and especially loved the jelly dinosaurs that ventured around her cake.
Noor Fatima surprised everybody with her extremely well thought-out and researched project on Tsunamis. Her project captures the whole concept with a large tidal wave about to engorge a coastal town. Using every material available to her, Noor designed a street, skyscrapers, a beach, palm trees, and even the town’s own cars. The tsunami wave itself, was designed with swash tipping the ends of the wave made up of cotton wool. Noor said that she used this project to research tsunamis as she felt it was a natural disaster the gets the least attention.
Callen Dunne used a digital approach to his geography research project. Designing a google slides presentation with the modern application of GIFs, Callen covered an array of topics covered in the 1st term of geography; Volcanoes, Landslides, and Tsunamis. He told his class that he was fascinated by all the physical elements of geography, but also wanted to experiment with the application of GIFs, which he has since used a number of times in other subjects.
Patrick Cawley, from Mountmellick, was needless to say, influenced by the recent Floods to carry out his research project. He designed a town’s area that had been flooded and depicts the physical effects of these floods. While Patrick’s home escaped the floods, his friends and neighbours were affected and he said ‘seeing it first hand was very frightening. We live upland, so we were lucky, there were sandbags everywhere’.
The geography department would like to congratulate, not only those that won this competition, but also congratulate all the students who took part and demonstrated great cross-curricular and researching skills. We wish them well in their future geographical studies.