Cobh crew claim another win at PE Xpo
It is an impressive achievement - as well as a mark of its commitment to Physical Education as a subject - that Coláiste Muire, Cobh won the PE Xpo for two years running.
A team of fifth year students from the school examined the intake of protein by teenagers, and their knowledge around it, for their project, entitled 'Pro-Teens'. They were awarded the overall prize at this year's event in DCU recently.
"We looked at whether they got their protein through a balanced diet or through protein shakes and then set up a website based on our findings," said one of the students, Holly Morgan.
And it seems that their IT skills - which the group largely acquired in Transition Year and which appears to be another of the school's specialities given its successes in events like the eir Junior Spider awards -played a significant part in convincing the judges that 'Pro-Teens' was this year's outstanding entry in the face of very stiff competition.
Morgan was joined on the Coláiste Muire team by Cian Lynch, Diarmuid Kearney, Lauren Breen, Max Bell and Stewart Lynch and, according to Amy Moriarty, a PE teacher in the school, the team brought the theory from their project and merged it with their IT skills to great effect. The project was the culmination of months of work by the students and overseen by their teachers, Moriarty and Veronica Caplis.
"We were also interested in the problems that eating too much protein can cause," added Holly Morgan.
The group are all active teens who spend a lot of time in the gym or on the pitch so they decided from the start that they were the best subjects to experiment on when trying to figure out the importance of protein in their diet.
So, they conducted a week-long study with two sticking to a low-protein diet, and three on a protein-filled diet, bookending the week with a 1km run.
There were three elements to their project, the research, building a website and creating resources. One such resource was a presentation which the group delivered to their peers, forcing them to rethink their ideas on dietary supplements and re-educating them in the process. According to Moriarty, the students' next step is to develop their project further ahead of a trip to University of Limerick in May when they will present their updated findings to staff in the PE and Sports Science department.
The PE Xpo was set up by a group of PE teachers to showcase the value of the subject and to give secondary school students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of sport and physical activity, on a practical level and also at a theoretical level, in a way similar to how the Young Scientists Exhibition does just that for science.
PE is now part of the Leaving Cert syllabus as an examinable subject, beginning with a number of pilot schools next September, before being fully rolled out in 2020.
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