Christmas Wreaths Bring Festive Cheer to Collinstown

On Wednesday a group of our teachers (Ms Kirwan, Mr Higgins and Ms Rooney) organised for us to make Christmas wreaths. We made the wreaths out of coat hangers newspaper, wrapping paper, Christmas baubles, and tinsel. It was really fun to do this with our friends instead of having a normal Wednesday in school!

We made the Christmas wreaths by bending our coat hangers into the shape of a circle and wrapping them with newspaper and then Christmas wrapping paper. After that we wrapped it in tinsel and then decorated it with Christmas baubles and ribbon. 

Some of us brought our wreaths home and some left them hanging in our class. We had a lot of fun making the wreaths and we want to say thanks to all our teachers who set it up for us. 

Sarah Tracey – TY press

Sarah Tracey – TY Press

 

Starbound Game Review

Starbound is an action-adventure, survival game, taking place in space. The goal of the game is to survive and progress. You play as a customizable avatar of one of the several intelligent races. Each race has its own type of culture or “personality” to it, such as the Florans being carnivorous and primitive, or the Apexes being intelligent but rude.

The game begins with you waking up in a bunk bed, presumably in a school of sorts. You learn the controls and walk out of the room, grabbing your Protectorate Uniform from your locker. The Protectorate was an intergalactical peace group with the idea in mind of uniting the several races and having peace. Another group, the Peacekeepers, were a branched off group of Protectorate that was more for fighting intergalactic crime together. You then go to the graduation ceremony, and after a speech, the room shakes. Then large squid-like tentacles rip apart the place and attack the current Great Protector, killing them. They end up leaving a valuable tool for the player, a Matter Manipulator which is used for things like breaking materials. 

You then get to play through your dying earth, running through the place as it’s coming apart, breaking dirt and sod blocks that are in your way, and getting the Broken Broadsword, your first weapon. Then you run to a spaceship and fly it off Earth as it is destroyed completely, you’re knocked unconscious and your ship is damaged from the unprepared takeoff. Earth is now destroyed, and you are the only survivor of the attack. The player made it out with a few medical supplies, the broadsword, and your life. 

The player is then able to do their own thing, maybe on the lines of what we did, which was fool around like an idiot until we figured out what we were meant to do. You go and find 20 Core Fragments, which are volatile materials used for crafting explosives or powering things, like Ancient Gateways. We go and power said gateway and you are teleported to The Outpost, a hub of sorts. We meet Esther Bright, a former grand protector, who tells you about The Ruin, a giant planet-like entity that seeks to destroy all that exists except for itself, and how a God had sealed it away for a long time, at the cost of its own life. We’re set with an objective to open the ancient sealed gateway by finding 7 artefacts and going in, to destroy the Ruin.

We’re tasked with fixing our ship, which involves going to the Erchius Mining Facility, a mining facility that mines Erchius Crystals, which are used for FTL drives in ships. However, it seems to be on lockdown once we arrive, and when we go in we’re met with strange, pink humanoids that blast pink erchius attacks at you. We have to defeat many of these before finding ones that are wearing human clothes and using their weapons. Presumably, these are mutated humans that have been affected by the Erchius radiation. They then attack us and you’re forced to kill them. We eventually breach through these monsters and find The Erchius Horror, the first boss in the game. The game tells us conventional weapons cannot hurt the Erchius Horror at all, and that we must use the Mining Laser beneath it to shoot into it until it dies. This isn’t easy, as it fires plasma beams at us and Moontants, the mutated, pink humans that are mindless slaves of the Horror. We eventually defeat it and become capable of using your ship again after getting it repaired.

After the fight of the Erchius Horror, we were free to travel to other planets and explore.

The game is admittedly very long and not as fun if you are told everything that happens. I hope you understand. The game was astonishingly well-made and greatly designed. I would suggest it to anyone who feels like survival and adventure type games, like Minecraft or Terraria, are their thing. Have fun.

Lorcan McGee – TY Press

Lorcan McGee


 

Student Council Results 2020/2021

The current strange situation we find ourselves in may have affected many facets of life in Collinstown Park but the right to vote has not been affected.

On the 12th of October four people out of every class were nominated for the student council. Their names were put forward for an unusual and historic election.

The voting started on Wednesday the 21st of October and ended 5pm on Friday 23rd.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the election took place online. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to operate a simple first-past-the-post system, instead of the proportional representation single-transferable-vote system which the school usually uses. 

There were some good things about this system, it was easier and faster rather than setting up polling stations, and the votes online were counted automatically. However, the turnout was much lower than normal (50% compared to around 85% in previous years), which is disappointing but perhaps an accurate picture of the usual turnout at general or local election time.

Our school community is currently dealing with a lot of changes due to Covid-19 and I’m sure the students elected will do a fantastic job in representing the student voice as we deal with the challenges that face us over the next few months. We look forward to a return to normality, and a more traditional Student Council election day, hopefully next year. 

Congratulations to all of the new student council members for their election, we hope to see the continuation of improvements that have taken place over the last few years this year.

The official results of the election are provided below. The head of the student council will be elected once the first meeting takes place. Thank you to Ms Campbell who continues her excellent work overseeing the student council in the school.

1st Year Turnout = 79/122 = 65% 
Sean Core 1F 
Alex Bissett  1S 
Grace Clynes 1C 
2nd Year Turnout = 51/104 = 49% 
Joseph Scullion  2E 
Kayla Brogan 2T 
Joshua Apps  2B
3rd Year Turnout = 40/93 = 43% 
Morgan Callaghan  3E 
Matthew Collins Kearns  3A
Eoin Keating  3E
4th Year Turnout = 39/99 = 39% 
Kane Casey  4C 
Cayla Hollywood  4A
Emma Smith 4E
5th Year Turnout = 43/84 = 51% 
Ross Dillon 5A 
Nathan O’Farrell  8A
Emma Nangle  5C 
6th Year Turnout = 42/83 = 51%
Nathan Duffy 6C 
Kyle Grant 6A 
Abbey Brennan 9B

Overall turnout: 294/585= 50%

Jordan Hinchon, Ciara Wilson and Cameron Farrell – TY Press

 

Careers 4 Girls in Technology

MAKING IT HAPPEN FOR GIRLS

It is great to see all of our students advancing into the world of work and careers. And as we know, technology, IT and digital skills is continually rising in prominence on the world stage, as it is in Ireland for all who are interested, motivated and willing to take the IT challenge!

On November 4th, via TEAMS, a number of senior female students participated in the Careers 4 Girls in Technology Event. Co-ordinated by Ms Hogan in IT and the Data Centre Academy, and Ms Daly in Career Guidance and Development, the girls engaged with other teens and techs throughout the live event. This IT 2-hour virtual event was partnered in collaboration with Southside Virginia Community College in the US and Microsoft and is just the beginning of an emerging connection between selected schools in Dublin, Kildare and the US, Collinstown Park Community College being one. For these girls, this is just step 1 on the road to digital success.

Click here for the opening address given by Kelly Arnold, the programme manager in Micosoft.

 

Torment and Crisis in Britain

There have been big changes announced across the Irish Sea as to how the Covid crisis will be handled. There will be new strict lockdown restrictions and the public will face steep fines. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland announced last week that “Christmas is going to be different this year, perhaps very different, pubs, restaurants, gyms, and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday”.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference in 10 Downing Street on Oct. 31, 2020 in London, England.

Unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges, and universities can stay open. Boris Johnson has said the lockdown will hopefully cease on 2nd December but the lockdown may still endure – at this moment it is just very unclear. There is expected to be another vote on the next procedures to tackle the virus before it ends in The House of Commons. The UK has recorded five hundred and sixty three coronavirus deaths yesterday (12th of November) – these numbers are stark. 

Documents seen by the BBC suggest the UK is on course for a much higher death toll than during the first wave unless further restrictions are introduced. Scientists estimated that, by mid-October, between 43,000 and 74,000 people were being infected per day. Matt Hancock has unveiled that hospital admissions are doubling every eight days, in weeks deaths may rise. 

The streets of the capital are empty

A scheme called the furlough was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The scheme in question will pay up to eighty percent of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month, the government is reviewing the policy in January. The furlough scheme was to end at the start of November and was then changed to the second of December, the new end date is the end of March. Mr Johnson would like for things to return to normal before Christmas if people stick to the new rules in place. 

The public in London have had some negative feelings about the lockdown. More than a hundred anti-mask protesters were arrested in London on the first night of lockdown. People were wearing guy Fawkes masks in support of people marching through the streets.

We can only wait and see how this full-fledged lockdown will go over for the next couple of weeks. How will the government keep the people at bay and the economy afloat? Will we see arrest and fines occurring and people retaliating more violently? When will this virus cease? Can people once again live ordinary lives maybe weeks, months another year – no one has the answer.  

Alex Martin – TY Press

Alex Martin and Sarah Jane O’Connor – TY Press