Student Perspectives

Brendan Conneely

Last October (2013) my teacher at Claddaghduff National School nominated me to attend the Youth Academy at NUI Galway. I was offered a place in the Psychology course. I was a bit nervous the first day but everyone was very nice. My teacher was Sinéad Conneely. I travelled to Galway every Saturday morning for my course. Sinéad gave us hints on reading body language and showed us the power of advertising over the mind. It was all very interesting.

Youth Academy was a great experience for me. It was a lot of fun and gave me a taste of what college is like. The other children in my class were really nice and we all got on well together.

At the end of the course, each student received a certificate which was presented by NUI Galway President, Dr James J Browne at a special award ceremony in the Bailey Allen Hall. I would like to thank my teacher for nominating me to go to the Youth Academy. I would also like to thank all those who helped organise Youth Academy and the professors who gave their time to teach us new and interesting things. I would recommend the Youth Academy as a very positive experience for all children who get the chance to go there.

Hilary Joyce

My name is Hilary Joyce and I go to school in Claddaghduff. From December to February (2012/2013) I took part in the Youth Academy at NUI Galway. To get into the Youth Academy my teacher nominated me based on the results I got in my summer tests. The subjects that the students could choose from were: Science Exploration, English, IT, Philosophy, Psychology, Italian, History and Engineering. The course I picked was history.

During the time I was doing the course, we studied Irish History from the Vikings all the way through to the Celtic Tiger. In the classes we were taught in an enjoyable way. Our teacher was Dr Tomás Finn. He would prepare worksheets and slide shows for us. Sometimes we would watch Horrible Histories videos on YouTube!

I loved learning about Ireland hundreds of years ago. History is one of my favourite subjects in school, so that is why I chose it. The Youth Academy was a very enjoyable experience and all the students in the history class were sad when it was over! I would like to thank my teachers at NUI Galway and the founders of the Youth Academy for letting is do the enjoyable classes. I hope that furture students will enjoy their time in NUI Galway too.

Maedhbh O'Neill

My name is Maedhbh O'Neill, I am 10 years old and I am in fourth class in Aillebrack N.S. In November (2012) I was very lucky to be chosen to attend the Youth Academy. My course took place every Saturday for six weeks and I got to study Philosophy.

During the six weeks I was taught by a Philosophy lecturer, Dr Orla Richardson and her assistant Meara. We learned all about famous philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Immanuel Kant, Descartes and Aristotle, and the way they thought the world worked. We were encouraged to make arguments like the philosophers did, and carried out a lot of thought experiments. My favourite part was when Dr Orla told us about a philosopher who thought that we were all brains in vats and that we were all hooked up to a big computer that made us imagine the world.

I really enjoyed attending the Youth Academy because I got to experience college life and I met lots of new people. I would love to do it again and definitely recommend the Youth Academy to anyone fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend.

Parent Perspectives

"Because of the Youth Academy my child is now really looking forward to going to college and is looking forward to secondary school"

"It is a great idea to show the children the university and the availability of other academic subjects. They proved thought provoking, interesting and these courses certainly opened their minds to the world of learning"

"It was a lovely relaxed class and interaction with the instructors was good"

" I liked the Youth Academy because it introduces children to new subjects, new friends and it gave them an insight into university and experience what it is like to be in a lecture hall"

"We loved the atmosphere of learning, the whole concept of introducing children to university as a "fun" place and not imposing or out of reach"

"The limits of my child's learning in school were allowed to be expanded and explored in a safe and supportive environment"

"We liked the atmosphere of the classes; from the like minded students to the instructors"

"It was an enjoyable experience and my child still talks about what he learned"

Instructor Perspectives

"The children could engage differently to a classroom setting and were encouraged to openly discuss topics ... in a word it was flexible and quite tailored to the specific needs of the class who attended"

"I have taught at third level for almost ten years now, and this has been one of my most rewarding ad informative teaching experiences to date"

"As a teacher, the course was a very good chance to put into practice the new and innovative language teaching methods, methodologies and techniques. The students were open to new ideas and didactic proposals. In addition, the whole context (length of lessons, freedom of syllabus, classroom facilities) contributed towards an original, productive and motivating course"

"I felt the students had a lot of fun and developed new skills, even over the relatively short period of time I could see a development amongst the students, which was great"