Tuesday 20 November 2018

LC Engineering: Questions have a 'fresh look' with links to real-life context

Galway minor hurling team members Donal Mannion, Ronan Glennon and Conor Molloy from St Brigid’s College, Loughrea, with their Engineering exam. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Galway minor hurling team members Donal Mannion, Ronan Glennon and Conor Molloy from St Brigid’s College, Loughrea, with their Engineering exam. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

An increasing trend in the Leaving Certificate engineering higher-level paper to open questions with a real-life context was welcomed by teacher Kenny Donagher.

This year, he noted this "fresh look" in questions on plastics processing, welding, robotics and metal alloys.

Mr Donagher also welcomed the way candidates could link to research they would have done during the year for their project.

Structure

Overall, the ASTI subject representative and teacher at Summerhill College, Sligo, described the paper as "very well laid out with no major change in the structure of questions."

He said there were opportunities for students to draw on their own experience in their answers and to show their understanding of modern engineering principles.

Just about everything featured, from parking sensors to electric vehicles and an American football helmet.

The "special topic" for the compulsory section was the study of the technical aspects of drones, which included a question relating to privacy.

"This is a good example of the way this particular subject not only marries a precision manufacturing skill set with a theoretical background knowledge, but gives students the opportunity to discuss the impact of technology on their lives" he said.

He described the ordinary-level paper as "very accessible, well structured, and particularly well illustrated with very good examples of the theory being examined".

JC Irish: 'Not enough time' to write down the answers in aural section

Junior Cert Irish students felt they didn't have enough time to write down their answers during the aural part of the exams, according to teacher Robbie Cronin.

It was a problem at both levels, but worse for ordinary level students, said Mr Cronin, an ASTI subject representative and teacher at Marian College, Dublin.

Describing this issue as an "old chestnut", he said "students of Irish heard the pieces only twice, as distinct from the other modern languages which are heard three times".

But Mr Cronin said the composition and comprehension paper was well received by most students to whom he spoke.

He said "many were grateful they could understand the essay titles".

Higher-level candidates were back in the afternoon for a "good and fair" poetry and prose paper.

Lamborghini

There were "no surprises" in the studied prose.

The unseen prose, about a Lamborghini hidden in a shed, was deemed "age-appropriate".

The theme in the studied poetry was happiness and sadness, which students would have studied, but the unseen was "more challenging".

One poem dealt with a form of whistling that helped some Jews escape from the Nazis.

Mr Cronin had a number of concerns about the ordinary-level exam, including dated comprehension texts: one question referred to Ed Sheeran concerts in the future tense.

He also took issue with "confusing and childish" graphics in Q6 in the written section and with some terminology used.

Irish Independent

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