Leaving Cert engineering: Topical and testing

Augmented reality featured in a paper which required students to ‘think for themselves’

There was a wide range of choice on this year’s Leaving Cert engineering paper, with students having additional and accessible options in both the long and short questions, according to ASTI subject representative, Eamon Dennehy.

Mr Dennehy, a teacher at Heywood Community School in Portlaoise, said that parts of the paper required students to engage in independent thinking.

“In the short questions, students were asked about wave energy technology and required to give two possible disadvantages associated with wave energy technology as an energy source: this may not be directly covered in class, but requires them to think for themselves and apply what they have learned,” he said.

In the longer questions, alterations made to the paper to account for learning loss gave students a choice of six questions out of nine. One of these, on virtual, augmented and mixed reality, may have been particularly interesting to students, Mr Dennehy said.


He said that questions four and five were traditional and familiar.

On the ordinary level paper, Mr Dennehy said that it was very approachable. Students also had more choice here, with electric go-karts, plastics manufacturing and 3D printing among the featured topics.

Try this one at home:

-Leaving Cert Engineering, higher level

(a) The arrival of the digital age brings Extended Reality (XR) into our daily lives, transforming our reality with the use of technology to create immersive environments, experiences and interactions.

(i) Describe the term Extended Reality (XR). (ii) Identify two benefits of Extended Reality (XR).

(b) Extended Reality (XR) encompasses a range of other digital technologies.

Explain each of the following types of Extended Reality: (i) Virtual Reality (VR). (ii) Augmented Reality (AR). (iii) Mixed Reality (MR).

(c) Discuss how Extended Reality (XR) immersive technology might provide a more engaging educational environment for learners of the future.