I was only delighted to give a Keynote at the ICT in Education conference that took place in Limerick IT recently. I spoke about EU Code Week and European Studies.
Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, visited us in Ireland on 6th May 2014. As one of her Young Advisors, I had the pleasure of meeting with her and Minister Ciaran Cannon in Leinster House. I also accompanied her to the Wayra premises in Dublin - very funky premises if I may say so myself!
This is the Littlewoods advert that has caused so much controvery. Please have a look at the advert and leave your opinion in the comments section.
Is it stereotypical?
Is it sexist?
Does it portray women as housewives who measure their success by how successful their husband is?
Or is the debate a bridge too far?
Are people going overboard?
We met with VP Kroes in Brussels over the last few days. We shot our promotional video for EU Code Week! It is disgustingly embarrassing but I'll post it since it's for a good cause ;)
CODING IS FUN!
On Friday the 7th March, five tired girls got the 6.30am train to Dublin to represent their school at Accenture's celebration of International Women's Day. Their teacher (me - Ms. Cullen!) was already waiting for them in the RDS. I was there to take part in the 'Destination Digital' panel discussion. You can see the videos of that discussion here.
The day began very early with a delicious breakfast in the RDS. Accenture Ireland seriously spoiled us! There were stands set up around the hall with some seriously cool gadgets, including a 3D printer and Google Glass. Arnotts were promoting their personal shopping experience (something I'll definitely take up in the future!) and kindly gave us a €25 voucher (already spent).
The celebration began with a bang thanks to the wonderful sounds of Accenturephonics. We were also treated to musical bliss from Julie Feeney (She's impossibly beautiful!).
The day featured two panel discussions and an interview with Liz Waters, CEO of An Cosán. Ann O'Dea (CEO of Silicon Republic), Miriam O'Callaghan (Presenter & Journalist RTE) and Keelin Shanley (Presenter RTE) hosted animated and probing discussions throughout the morning.
Other speakers included Bill Liao (Co-founder of Coderdojo), Prof Orla Feely (Head of Electronic Engineering UCD), Aideen Howard (Literary Director, Abbey Theatre), Prof Brian MacCraith (President, DCU), Prof Sinead Ryan (Head of Maths, Trinity College), Julie Sinnamon (CEO, Enterprise Ireland).
The morning came to a close after a discussion with the three superstars of the BT Young Scientists Competition: Ciara Judge, Emer Hickeyand Sophie Healy-Thow. The girls have even promised to visit us in St. Oliver's Community College soon!
The five girls representing St. Oliver's - Muirenn Mulholland, Nikita Mulready, Irene McDonnell, Lucy Towers and Rachael King - did us proud as always. They were delighted to get personal career advice from Bill Liao. He was extremely generous with his time and advice.
The wonderful morning was organised by Eithne Harley and Paula Neary, party planners extraodinaire, Accenture.
People don't want a hand up or a hand out - they want a hand shake
Ciara's blog on her trip to Euroscola
***Ciara won a separate trip to Euroscola and travelled the week before the rest of us!***
On the 11th of February 2014, I nervously drove to Dublin Airport to met up with 23 other students from around the country to fly to Strasbourg in France to the European Parliament. I had won a trip to the parliament as part of a civic awareness quiz called Gradu8 which my European Studies teacher informed me about.
Silicon Republic has just named Ms. Cullen one of Ireland's Top 100 Women in STEM! You can read more here.
What a hectic few days we've had! I don't think we'd change any of it for the world though ;-) We'll be writing a full report very soon but in the meantime, feast your eyes on these stats and pics. Feel free to leave any comments highlighting the best bits! You can follow our journey on Twitter through #stolstras
600 - number of students present at Euroscola
379 - number of photos Mr. Kirk took
199 - number of miles we walked
26 - number of phone calls to parents and school staff when our plane was cancelled
20 - number of chicken nuggets Marianne ate in one sitting
12 - average number of hours sleep over three nights per person
9 - number of pizzas eaten (3 hours after KFC & McDs)
8 - number of hours spent on trains
7 - number of 'Strasbourg' lighters Rachel tried to smuggle through security
6 - number of buses we took
5 - number of times Padraic & Jack visited the Chinese buffet
2 - number of times we nearly missed the train
1 - number of terror inducing landings
0 - number of balanced meals we ate
This week we had Ciaran O'Connor (movie maker extraordinaire) in filming in St Oliver's for the Europe Code Week follow up video. Ms. Cullen was talking about Europe's most successful Code Week country - IRELAND! We even got to feature in the video a little ;-)
Last week was Europe Code Week so on Saturday 30th November, some of Louth's CoderDojos got together to form one giant Dojo! We had great fun and we demonstrated why Ireland came top of the league last week. Below are some photos from the event. Thanks to all the kids and mentors who attended! You guys rock ;-)
EU Code Week is taking place at the minute. Our very own Ms. Cullen is the Irish Ambassador for EU Code Week. Find out more about the importance of coding in this video (which also features Ms Cullen!).
Everyone owes Jordanna and Marianne a HUGE thank you. Their entry to the Euroscola competition has just won THE WHOLE CLASS a trip to Strasbourg! We will be travelling to the European Parliament during the 2014 February mid-term. This is a huge opportunity for us to learn more about the European Parliament while having a whole lot of fun. Take a look at the winning entry below and please leave a comment thanking the girls!
Ms Cullen had a stand at the Web Summit in Dublin on 30th October. She was there to tell the tech world all about EU Code Week!
Mr Geoff Fitzpatrick from FitzScientific came to St. Oliver's today to talk to us about the Drogheda Young Innovators Award. Below are the notes that Mr Fitzpatrick used during his presentation.
This is the link to the Drogheda Young Innovators Award page.
The competition is only open to six secondary schools in Drogheda so make sure that St. Oliver's is well represented!
Stuck for ideas for the Young Innovators Award?! Have a read through the winners of the Ig Nobel Awards...
Find full article here
Welcome to your European Studies module TY Crescents! Over the next few months, we will explore our roles as citizens of the EU. We will communicate with other schools through the communication platform on the European Studies Website.
We will also enter various competitions! Below are some links to the competitions. One or two require that you register beforehand so double check with me.
1. My European dream - song/ rap/ poetry competition ... details here ... closing date 15th October 2013
2. Euroscola - design a flyer ... details here ... closing date Friday 15th November 2013
3. Graduate Quiz - answer multiple choice questions ... details here
Above is the video that Neelie Kroes made as part of Safer Internet Day 2013. Ms. Kroes talks about making the Internet a safer place for children. She emphasises the fact that bigger companies (think Facebook, Google) must take responsibility for their privacy settings.
What is your opinion of this video? Are there any additional comments you would like to make?
Hooray! Another student from our class has won a trip to Strassbourg by entering the Graduate Quiz. Well done to Joanna. We hope that herself and Sabrina have an absolute ball.
I am an English teacher in St. Oliver's Community College, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland. Follow me on Twitter @cullej29.