Rowing champs inspire students to 'think on feet'
Champion Irish rowers the O'Donovan brothers and Sanita Puspure provided some real-life inspiration for Leaving Cert Engineering candidates.
A full question on the higher level paper was built around the construction of state-of-the-art racing boats and the sophisticated materials used.
According to ASTI subject representative Donal Cremin, the question was an example of how the paper tested both knowledge and thinking skills, commenting that "students who learned off answers may have missed the point in many questions".
He said the compulsory question one, the short questions, covered a wide range of the syllabus and "some questions demanded students think on their feet".
TUI subject representative Mark O'Dea described it as a "very nice paper, with nothing unexpected".
"Students had a great opportunity to demonstrate knowledge they have acquired both in class and in everyday life," he said.
Both teachers praised the paper for the way in which it embraced cutting-edge developments, such as nanotechnology, 3D printing and exoskeleton robotic suits.
"In recent years, it has been clear that the examiners are trying to keep pace with modern technological developments, even though the syllabus has not been reformed," said Mr Cremin, who teaches at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Co Kerry.
Candidates at both levels have already submitted projects as part of their assessment, and Mr O'Dea, of Kilrush Community School, Co Clare, thought it a nice touch that, on the higher level paper, there was a linked question.
"You wouldn't often see that," he said.
Mr Cremin agreed, "because it gives students a further opportunity to demonstrate design and problem-solving skills".
The ordinary level paper was "very doable, with good reference to modern manufacturing methods, but also questions relating to the very basics of engineering," said Mr O'Dea.