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STEAM Academy

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

What is Steam?

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. At Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk we believe this approach is one which will give pupils life skills which encourages students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. These are the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!

Based on standardised testing students have been identified to be given a STEAM mentor to guide them to STEAM activities and tasks within the school. This mentoring role allows students to be challenged and also supported in their efforts.


Students will be challenged in areas of mathematics encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills. Using various lunch clubs they will engage with real world examples in maths. At the end of the year some will take part in the IMTA quiz to represent the school.

students will be presented with five problem-solving questions per week on Google Classroom. These questions, carefully designed to get progressively more difficult from one to five, encourage critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills in mathematics. They are more difficult than what they experience in first-year mathematics and look to provide students with a level that matches their ability. In doing so, they will be in a better position for Junior Cert Higher Level Mathematics, which involves a range of questions that require the aforementioned skills.

Students will also meet once a month and take part in a mathematics quiz, with similar questions that they have been practising online. Here, they will be in small teams where they can help and challenge each other in an environment that encourages mathematical discussion and deliberation. At the end of the year, a number of students will go on to represent Mercy Mounthawk in the Kerry Branch of the IMTA quiz.


In English students engage in Book Club, Debate Club and Creative Writing Club. Students are encouraged and mentored by teachers in numerous essay writing, creative writing and poetry competitions throughout the school year.

The Arts Programme within the STEAM Academy at Mounthawk aims to work with existing elements, offering students accelerated academic English programme.

Students will be guided to develop their critical thinking skills through these virtual and in-person critical discussions and will also engage in short writing tasks on which they will receive targeted feedback from the facilitator.

It is our aim to harness the students’ existing ability and foster continued growth in the subject of English.

Coding and Computing

The aim of coding and computing in the STEAM Academy is give students problem solving, teamwork and communication skills framed in the form of technology.

Key areas of study will be:

  • Computational Logic and Math
  • Embedded Technologies (Robotics, AI etc)
  • Web Development
  • App Development

Students will be involved with a number of competitions including the Bebras Challenge and VEX robotics.


The aim of Science in The STEAM academy is to give students the opportunity to improve their research and communication skills. In Science Club the students are given the opportunity to develop science projects that can be entered into competitions such as BT Young Scientist, Sci-Fest and Eco-Unesco. The development of these projects will also improve students knowledge in science and other areas. The projects developed by the students will include Scientific knowledge and experimentation, and the use of Technology , Engineering, and Mathematics, all aspects cohesively creating a research project in an Artistic way. The projects developed in Science club allow students to show their learning and appreciation of the STEAM area entirely. Students also develop their scientific knowledge further to participate in the ISTA science Quiz.

Makerspace Club


The Makerspace Club is a place for hands-on learning. It promotes
innovation through practical experimentation and it fosters a
maker mindset in students. This club encompasses all aspects of
STEAM education and has enabled students to make a number of
different projects, both digital and physical. The Makerspace Club
incorporates learning in a number of different areas including coding,
robotics, science, engineering, designing, 3D printing and inventing.

Click on the image to read about the student’s success.

Young Scientist and Sci-Fest


Mercy Mounthawk had another hugely successful year in the area of Science. We had 10 projects in total at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition (BTYSE)  which was an amazing feat in itself.  We had major award winners in both The BT Young Scientist and Scifest Competitions this year.

Click on the image to read about the student’s success.

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