Post Primary


Earth and Space – Our Place in Space

An interactive exploration of our solar system and its place within the observable universe in the home of Irish astronomy. We examine the characteristics of the planets and other celestial objects and compare their properties and relationships. Using hands on activities we demonstrate the principle of gravity, star formation and analyse planetary data. This workshop is strongly aligned to curriculum elements and designed to allow the students to investigate and consider the evidence as an aid to learning. The context of being in a classroom within sight of the Great Telescope and learning about the associated discoveries made by the 3rd Earl of Rosse lends a real uniqueness to this workshop at Birr Castle Demesne.

What the teachers say:

“Very engaging for students and really linked in with the curriculum” – R Hennessy

“Relevant content…engaging…great activities. Will definitely be back.”- Ms Mulcahy

“There was a lot of useful activities that got the students engaged and interested in learning. The workshop had a lot of fun and interesting ideas.” – E Corr

2 hours

€12 per student

Also includes a tour of the Great Telescope and Science Galleries.


Ecology – Habitat Study

Birr Castle Demesne is renowned for its unspoilt and impressive grounds. The students will conduct a habitat study within the Annex 1 meadow grasslands using a variety of survey techniques including quadrats, line transects and direct searching. Preparation for the study includes a step by step presentation which explains in detail all aspects of completing the study including use of quadrats, transects, measuring percentage cover, abiotic and edaphic physical factors, competition, adaptation, the interdependence of organisms and energy flow through the trophic levels. Once in the field, the students will use workbooks, keys and field equipment to put into practice their learning.

What the teachers say:

“Content knowledge of facilitator was excellent. Engaging the students with practical activities, resources, use of equipment and the amount of topics covered worked very well.” – E Kavanagh

“PowerPoint was well delivered and prepared. [It was] very informative and well layered for practical ecology study.” – C Mercer

 “Anecdotal evidence was enthusiastic and engaging”- N Dooley

2.5 hours

€12 per student


Pinhole Photography

Inspired by the work of Mary Rosse, students will visit the room in which she worked – it is believed to be the oldest complete darkroom in the world. They will learn about the history of photography, build a pinhole camera and take photographs that will be turned into negatives and contact prints in our working Mary Rosse Educational Darkroom. The students will learn about light, composition and the process of capturing an image on photographic paper using chemicals. Each student will leave with a negative, print or photogram at the end of the session.

4.5 – 5 hours

€18 per student

Nature Awareness Post Primary, Birr Castle

Common Sense – Nature Awareness

How do our senses compare with those of animals? How do our senses work when put to the test in isolation? Can we still taste if we can’t smell? Can we identify smell if we can’t see? How good are our senses of sight and hearing? Using full immersion games, activities and experiments we will learn about our human senses and how they work. We will learn some amazing facts about animal senses, why they developed and how we compare. What are the super senses that we don’t have? Are we really the top animal on the planet? Be prepared for some surprises.

2 hours

€12 per student

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Birr Demesne is a very special microcosm, its own little world of protected wildlife and plant life. The demesne is an area of over 50 hectares, walled in on most sides and well protected from invading species. Explore the habitats, biodiversity, adaptation, food chains and lifecycles within the demesne. Become an amateur naturalist for the day. Using quadrats, magnifying lenses, bug viewers, butterfly and pond dipping nets discover the wonderful world of nature from flowers to trees, dragonflies to dippers. Use identification keys and learn how to upload findings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

2 hours

€12 per student


Birr Castle Junior History Cycle


The Past in My Place

Contact us for more details

Due to the situation with Covid-19, we are currently unable to facilitate our on-site education programmes. Please contact to enquire about our remote learning opportunities.