A big event in IT in Greenhills was our participation in SIP (the Schools Integration Project) from around 1998 to 2000. This was an initiative overseen by NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education) in which 70 schools from the primary and postprimary sectors of Irish education were selected by open competition to produce IT packages that could be replicated for use by other schools. The package produced was to involve students and teachers working together and the work and end product was to be an example of best practice in the IT area.
In our Greenhills project we aimed to produce a a CD-ROM for use in the teaching/study of First Year Science. The purpose of the CD is to awaken a greater interest in science among girls so that more girls will consider keeping on science as a subject for Junior Cert and for Leaving Cert and will consider career options in the science area. With our achievements in the Aer Lingus and Esat Young Scientists' competition over many years and our committment to furthering the sciences in Greehills and having been involved in the pilot scheme for the gender-related Girls into Technology initiative we felt that this topic was a natural choice for us.
Our SIP co-ordinator was Mrs. Geraldine Mulvihill and under her guidance a Steering Committee and a Co-ordinating Committee were set up and project proposals have been submitted by science teachers. We were conscious of the huge demands that participation in SIP would make on many people in the school over the year and also of the need for expert help from outside the school. We were fortunate to have offers of such expert help.
In the end the project was completed within the year. It involved many hours concentrated effort in the computer room. First, all the teachers and students had to be trained up in the use of Hyperstudio, a multimedia authoring package, in an after school course delivered by Mr. Loughran. Following this, many students and teachers gave up their free time to design and write the package which was sent eventually to the Department of Education. The school was rewarded by the department by a top of the range computer, scanner and printer which are still in the computer room.