Stellar Schools Ireland --: Is an educational project between schools in the Waterford region in Ireland and schools in the St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The project originated through the WIRED group attached to the Waterford Chamber of Commerce. A Canadian businessman while in Waterford was fascinated to learn of the impact the counties of the South-East of Ireland had on the development of his country, especially the island of Newfoundland. He was aware from his Irish roots that many of the folk back 'on the rock', knew about their Irish roots, but knew nothing of the area or its people.
Mr. Gerry Conheedy, of Waterford Crystal decided to see if anybody would be interested in re-establishing these strong links through this new technology of the Internet. So in February, 1998 a group of teachers representing six schools, both Primary and Secondary in the Waterford area, who were developing their IT facilities, were invited to Gerry's office to explore the possibility of linking with fellow teachers and students on the other side of the Atlantic. There was an overwhelming response from all present so over the following months many meetings were held between a group of teachers in St. John's, NF. and Waterford.
Initially this was done by e-mail but thanks to the generosity of Waterford Crystal we were able to have video conferencing between the two groups on both sides of the Atlantic. Many of the schools here in the Waterford area were only beginning to use the internet thanks to the generosity of Telecom Éireann, but there was enough enthusiasm amongst the group to drive this project forward. Nancy Parsons-Heath, Director of Stemnet set about the tack of selecting schools in the St. John's area to twin with the Irish schools. When this was set up, it was left to the teachers and students to give this project the big push.Back in the schools work was in hand e-mailing our new friends across "the pond". The school were also busy preparing a video about their respective schools and environs and putting it on film.This work was undertaken in this school by the 6th. class pupil's under the guidance of Mr. Pollard. Having spent time planning the short video they were very pleased with the outcome.The video can be viewed by clicking here .
A date was set
for May 20th., 1998 for the official launch of the project. This would take place
simultanesouly in Waterford and in Newfoundland. It was appropriate that Newtown School
was selected for the Waterford, as the school was built initially on the strength of the
trade between the two areas. Booth Memorial High school was to be the venue in
Newfoundland.You can read about the launch by clicking here.