The Technology subjects below are all offered as as an 11-week taster course in First Year. Students then choose if they would like to study the subject for a further two years at Leaving Certificate level.
Materials Technology (Wood)
Materials Technology (Wood) is very much a practical subject. There is an emphasis on accuracy, hand tool skills and health and safety. Students gain an understanding as to how to correctly measure and mark out a work piece, proceeding to make that piece and critically analyse the result. Power tools and machinery are introduced and, in time, the complexity of projects increases.
A critical part of this is the element of design. Students will learn how to use the design process to create a product. This tests students’ creativity, and develops students’ drawing and sketching skills. Students will “learn by doing” wherever possible. Students will learn about where wood comes from, how it becomes timber products, the importance of sustainable use of timber and gain an insight into various hardwoods and softwoods. Materials Technology (Wood) leads on to Construction Studies for the Leaving Certificate, which further develops practical skills while learning all about the building of a dwelling in Ireland.
Technology is primarily a practical-based subject, which mixes the use of modern polymers, metals and electronics. Students of Technology study electronics, investigate how technology and society are interwoven, and discover properties and uses behind various plastics, metals and rubbers. Central to the practical side of the Technology syllabus is the ability to work accurately and safely on a piece of work using a variety of tools such as hack saws, files, rulers, scribes etc. Students begin developing a good understanding of electronics work, building and troubleshooting their own circuits. Importantly, through the design process students will learn how to design their own project and take it from concept to reality while critically analysing the result. As part of this process, students will develop drawing skills to enable them to communicate ideas graphically. Technology leads on the Leaving Certificate Technology, which builds on students’ polymer processing and electronics design skills, and introduces robotics, animatronics and process controls among others.
In Technical Graphics, sometimes called Technical Drawing, students learn how to represent 2D and 3D objects on paper and on computer. Students develop problem solving and creative thinking skills through the solution of graphical problems. Students in the Junior Cycle learn to construct, and study the properties of plane geometrical figures. They also develop skills in graphical communication using current standards and conventions, including drawing and sketching and the use of computer graphics. Much of Technical Graphics is about following sequences and logical steps in order to solve a given problem or drawing. Numeracy skills, hand eye co-ordination, visualisation and spatial skills are developed in this subject. Technical Graphics leads on to Leaving Certificate Design and Communication Graphics (DCG), which introduces 3D computer modelling and more complex topics.