Athlone Institute of Technology’s Department of Life and Physical Sciences hosted a series of Biology revision days last week to assist senior cycle students in their preparation for their Leaving Certificate examinations.
More than 200 secondary school students from across the Midlands - accompanied by their teachers - participated in the practical, hands-on workshops which covered many of the mandatory experiments on the Leaving Certificate Biology curriculum.
After being assigned their own working space, participants were given a detailed course manual which included concise descriptions, illustrations and key exam questions. Over the course of the day, students carried out a wide variety of experiments in the institute’s state-of-the-art laboratories and documented and interpreted their own results.
Among the laboratory experiments conducted was an investigation into the effect of temperature and pH on enzyme activity, completion of food tests, use of the microscope to examine both animal and plant cells, demonstration of the osmotic effect, preparation of alcohol from yeast, immobilisation of enzymes and extraction of DNA .
Upon visiting the workshops and meeting the students and their school representatives, Dr Don Faller, who is Athlone Institute of Technology’s Dean of Faculty of Science and Health, remarked on the energy levels and enthusiasm and said the quality of learning was clearly evident.
A number of postgraduate students, technical and administrative staff from the Department of Life and Physical Sciences assisted academics in the delivery of the Biology revision workshops.
Head of Department Dr Nuala Commins expressed her gratitude to those that facilitated and participated in the programme and remarked on how great it was for Athlone Institute of Technology to be in a position to offer Leaving Certificate students quality revision programmes within their own region. Initiatives such as this are instrumental in ensuring the future matriculation of students into STEM degrees and ultimately careers.
Given the success of the Biology revision days, it is envisaged that the programme will be repeated in April prior to the state exams. Schools interested in participating should direct their queries to email@example.com.
Athlone Institute of Technology is a vibrant, contemporary institution distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research. The institute has enjoyed considerable success in recent years, most notably being awarded The Sunday Times ‘Institute of Technology of the Year 2020, 2018 and Runner-Up in 2017. The institute also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and has been listed in U-Multirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2018 and 2019. Athlone Institute of Technology has ranked number one for student satisfaction nationally for six consecutive years, according to the Irish Survey of Student Engagement which looks at how happy students are with their degree and overall student experience.