Engineering: 6th (and the use of mathematical skills)

Strand: Energy and Forces: Magnetism

Objective: Design and Make a Magnetic Foosball Table

Apparatus: Corrugated Cardboard from a variety of sources such as cardboard boxes, pizza boxes and ink cartridge boxes, large and regular sized popsicle sticks, north-south magnets, fridge magnets, selotape, markers, green coloured A4 paper, rulers and pencils, blue-tac, shredded white paper, PVA glue, water paints, paintbrushes, tin-foil, digital images of soccer players, scissors, compass.

Activity: The pupils in sixth class were divided into five groups and were shown a sample foosball table. The children were given the opportunity to discuss and plan their very own design features to make their own version of a magnetic foosball table. The children worked really well and agreed on the different sub-tasks that needed to be completed in order to complete their project as an effective team. Once they had a clear idea of their design features and sub-tasks agreed upon, they then went about making their foosball tables using corrugated cardboard. They used rulers and slits to create sturdy stands and they marked out the pitch area using compasses and rulers. Some groups encountered design flaws initially (eg. the stadium-stands were proving weaker than expected) so they had to reinforce their structures by overlaying strips of cardboard on top of existing strips. Other groups designed track-like stands by folding back strips of cardboard several times in order to suspend their pitches. A lot of work went into the making of their goal-structures. Some used popsicle sticks only while others used cardboard goals combined with popsicle sticks. The pupils experimented and tested the load-capacity of each pitch and stand by placing different weights on top of the pitch. Once satisfied with the load capacity, the pupils then created their ‘magnetic players’ by using fridge magnets and decorate them with photos of soccer players. They then create their ‘control-sticks’ by placing north-south magnets on popsicle sticks. They were able to make these control sticks telescopic by attaching a second ‘extendable’ stick which could be adjusted using an elastic band. To celebrate the fruits of their labour, the pupils had mini-foosball games using tin-foil and paper footballs. One of our pupils “telvised” each game by videoing it on the iPad which projected the game on the big screen (IWB). Well one to the boys on making their magnetic foosball tables.

































































Science: 6th 

Engineering Tea Bags !!

We wanted to find out what the best materials for making our own tea bags would be.

We used loose tea leaves and put the tea leaves into different materials to see which one made the best cup of tea.

Materials we used for the tea bags;

Filter paper
Cling film
Time fool

We were broken up into four groups and were given our equipment. Each group had water, tea leaves, the above materials and plastic cups. The first thing we did was mix the tea leaves with the water. The we strained the tea through the different material to use in making a tea bag. Out of all the groups we agreed the that the best material to ale tea bags is the inter
paper. This is because it filtered the water the fastest and did not get too soggy and break. We learned that tin foil and the best were not good materials to use for tea bags because it kept the water out and did not let it flow through the cup.

Thanks Ms. Harris and Ms.Buckley for the challenge!

Strand: Energy and Forces: Forces

Experiment: Investigating and Experimenting with the centre of gravity

Apparatus: Cereal boxes, pencil, scissors, sellotape, DSPM template of the acrobatic clown, plastic weights (buttons), blue-tac, empty glasses

The sixth class pupils had great fun experimenting with the centre of gravity. As a warm-up activity, the pupils tried to find the centre of gravity of their rulers using both index fingers. They were then tasked with creating their very own ‘acrobatic clown’ made from cereal box cardboard and paper templates. The pupils worked in pairs and once they had their acrobatic clown ready, they experimented with how to balance him on different objects such as the edge of their desks as well as on the rim of a drinking glass. The pupils then progressed to balancing the clown by placing weights on both hands of the acrobatic clown. They used plastic buttons (each of the same weight) and they could see how the centre of gravity was adjusted as a result.

































Engineering, 6th Class

Strand: Materials: Properties and characteristics of materials

Experiment: Design and Build a 3-D Christmas Tree using recycled cups

Apparatus: Cardboard cups, pipe-cleaners, scissors, colored-paper, string

The pupils were given the challenge of coming up with their own design of a 3-D Christmas using limited apparatus which did not include adhesives. The class was split into four groups each of which was given ten minutes to discuss their unique design and sketch out any ideas. It was very interesting to see how certain designs didn’t quite support the structure while the slit approach yielded better results in terms of structural strength and solidity. The pupils learned that the build can be more difficult than initially planned. Once each group had a functioning design, they then decorated their trees using green paper strips and decorative art.



Energy and Forces;

Strange Sounds Experiment

In second class we explored ways of making different sounds using a variety of materials. We investigated sounds by recognising and identifying a variety of sounds and concentrated on differentiating between high and low sounds.

Energy and Forces;

Design a Boat Experiment

We investigated how forces act on an object. We investigated how some objects may be made float by hallowing then out.

Engineering; Energy and Forces; Design. A Roto-Copter. We investigated whether a big Roto-Copter spun differently than a little one.


In BMMS we carried out a collection of investigations around the topic of plants, looking at life cycles, factors affecting growth, parts of a plant, composting and plants that we eat.

Investigating if plants grow better organically: plan and carry out a fair test looking at the effect of fertiliser on growing radishes.

Holly leaves: investigate questions about holly leaves.

Tree rings: investigate cut tree trunks to determine the age of the tree, how fast it grew and climatic conditions during its growth.

The life cycle of a flowering plant: a sequencing activity looking at the lifecycle of Brassica, a fast cycling flowering plant.

How does light affect growing plants?: Plan and carry out a fair test looking at the effect of light on plant growth.

Having fun growing plants: provide the conditions for germination and observe a variety of seeds over time.

Finding out about the number of flower parts: three ways to dissect a flower in order to identify and name the different parts.

Finding out the parts of the leaf and it’s importance for the plant.
Designing a seed: design and make a seed from a newly discovered plant using junk materials.

Are you a plant eater?: Develop an awareness of the parts of a plant that are eaten.

Composting, recycling and the curriculum: investigate what happens during the composting process.

Caring for and tasting our own plants we have cared fo.

Our parsley plants;



Our aim in Bishop Murphy memorial school is to enable the children to develop and use I.C.T skills. It is also very important to develop the children’s understanding and practice of safe use of I.C.T. In Bishop Murphy Memorial school each child has their own iPad. IPads are used as a medium of teaching and learning in all classrooms.


In 3rd class the children use an app called Book Creator. The children used their iPads to research inventors and created a project on Book Creator. Some inventors they researched are Mary Anderson, John Logie Baird and Henry Ford. They then presented their books to the rest of the class.



Our interactive whiteboard is a very important resource in our classroom. Every day we use it for our Bua na Cainte where the children can take part in interactive activities.



Pyonkee Programming App

In Bishop Murphy Memorial School 2nd and 3rd class were introduced to Pyonkee which is an iPad app for teaching children about coding. It is very similar to Scratch. Pyonkee is an excellent resource where the children get the opportunity to learning programming through games and activities. They gained very valuable skills and were able to showcase these skills by creating their own games and activities. The children really enjoyed using this coding programme.




Due to the Covid-19 Bishop Murphy Memorial School decided to use Seesaw as a tool to create learning between children, teacher and families.Seesaw is an excellent resource as the students are able to show their learning using a digital portfolio.Seesaw is a new resource for Bishop Murphy Memorial school. The children, teachers and parents have really developed their I.T skills and are making great progress with this learning tool.






Open Night in BMMS on 6th February

Each class showcased 3 different experiments to the public. It was a great success!




On Tuesday the 12th of November the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT) invited 3rd class to participate in a workshop.  INFANT actively encourage positive  attitudes towards science,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through their programme of engagement of activities. The title of this workshop was ‘ Bloody Detectives: Mystery Molecules Workshop. The children gained a lot of information about blood and its importance. They found out that blood is made up of red blood cells which carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body, white blood cells which fight infection,platelets which control bleeding and plasma which is the liquid part of the blood. The boys were divided into groups and each group made their own blood mixture and were thrilled to be able to take a sample of the bloody mixture home.They also studied blood cells under a microscope. This workshop was very engaging and the boys had a lot of fun.