Thursday morning, 14th November 2019 was a bright but cold one as 5th class set off for Teagasc Research Centre, Johnstown Castle. Teagasc is a semi-state body and undertakes research into the agri-food sector. This trip was part of Science Week and the children were greeted by Anna Fenelon who is a laboratory technician and she very kindly stayed with the class for the duration of the visit.
On arrival the children were asked to wear white lab coats and they were privileged to watch and participate in a chemistry experiment when they learned how to make clouds out of liquid nitrogen. They also saw how an air-filled balloon will deflate and self-inflate having been placed in nitrogen. The pupils were shown the effects of liquid nitrogen on flowers and how the flowers instantly freeze and crumble once they are touched but if left without touching they will thaw out.
Following the visit to the laboratories the children visited the dairy farm where they were given a talk by Aidan, one of the workers, on dairy farming and where they made the acquaintance of some bovine friends and saw how the milking parlour operates. They were introduced to newly-born calves which included a set of twin calves which were four days old. This was the most popular and exciting part of the trip for the children.
The children were appreciative of the time and information given to them by Anna Fenelon, Aidan and by other staff members. Furthermore a special word of thanks must go to Mark Crosbie who accompanied us on the trip.