Aillwee Caves

The Discover Primary Science and Maths programme is an initiative to encourage the promotion of science and maths in Irish Primary schools. It has proved to be an invaluable resource for teachers and students alike by helping large numbers of young children to understand that science and maths isn’t just about people in white coats carrying out difficult experiments. It’s about fun, discovery and adventure, and it is something which is fundamentally relevant to our everyday lives.

We, in Tubber N.S., have taken part in this programme for the past number of years and have achieved eight Awards of Excellence in the programme.

As part of efforts to achieve our ninth Award of Excellent all the children in the school visited Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Exhibit on Thursday, March 14th. The visit included a guided tour of the limestone caves. The children experienced a journey over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside a thunderous waterfall! The children saw some bear bones along with a bear bit, where the bears used to hibernate in thousands of years ago. They also learned about how the caves were formed over millions of years and were able to view the unique and wonderful stalactites and stalagmites in the magically named Midsummer Cavern.

After the tour of the caves was complete, the children were brought on a guided mountain walk through woodlands. The guides explained to the children how people used to survive long ago in the woodlands. They discussed the many different types of wildlife that existed in the past and are still there today and showed the children.

To complete the day the children visited the Birds of Prey Centre. This was both educational and very entertaining. They all experienced a dynamic flying display set against the dramatic Burren Landscape. There were displays of falcons, harris hawks, owls, American kestrels and white tailed sea eagles. They learned about falconry as an ancient sport and became more aware of these magnificent indigenous species and the environmental issues involved in their protection and conservation. Some of the children even got to hold the birds!