Athlone students successful at SciFest

Students from Our Lady’s Bower have won the Abbott Runner-up Award at SciFest 2012 held at Athlone Institute of Technology. Cathy McGettigan and Elaine Rushe examined the effects of grooming on the heart rate of Connemara ponies after exercise.

The girls were also runners-up in the Bimeda Veterinary Award and won the Intermediate Physical Sciences Group Category. Our Lady’s Bower also claimed the prize for Best School having won seven different categories in the competition.

Alan Harney and Ruairi McKenna-Carroll from Garbally College, Ballinasloe claimed the Intel Best Project Award with their project entitled ‘Portable testing kit for peanuts in food’.

Some 450 students from 20 secondary schools throughout the Midlands showcased their impressive scientific discoveries and explorations at SciFest. Over 200 projects were displayed at the largest SciFest exhibition in the country.

Our Lady’s Bower students, Aisling Benson and Aobh Nic Ghiolla Phádraig won the PharmaChemical Ireland Chemistry Award for their project ‘Colour protect: does it do what it says on the bottle?’ They also claimed third place in the Oriflame Cosmetics Award and first place in the Junior Physical Sciences Group Category.

Other Bower prize-winners included Sinead Reidy, who obtained first place in the Sports Science Award (junior category ) and joint first place in the Junior Physical Sciences Individual Category for a project entitled ‘Swim like a duck’. Her fellow students, Alex Weevey and Therese O’Reilly, obtained first place in the Best Display Awards for ‘The effects of soft drinks on teeth’. Orla O’Connor, Renata Downes and Claire Connor also obtained first place in the Intermediate Ericsson Technology Awards (group category ) for their project entitled ‘A study of the effectiveness of vibrating platforms in building muscle tone’. A project investigating tattoos and body piercings by Deon Keighery, Lauren O’Sullivan and Katie McClean came third in the Intermediate Life Sciences Group Category.

Students at Athlone Community College also enjoyed considerable success. Thomas Naughton, Sean Mulvihill and Dillon McBurney won the Junior Ericsson Technology Awards (group category ) for their project entitled ‘Multi-angled ruler’. Sophie Jacob won the Intermediate Physical Sciences Individual Category for her project entitled ‘School bag backs’. Kevin Seery, Sean E. McManus and David Clogher obtained third place in the Junior Life Sciences Group category for their work on ‘Memory versus music’. Their fellow students, Fiachra Lennon, Bill Kelly and Shane Gibbons were highly commended in the Junior Physical Sciences Group Category for a project comparing the friction on swimming togs using different materials. Louise Finneran and Megan Lennon were highly commended in the Intermediate Life Sciences Group for their project ‘Study skills: what’s best and why?’

The Discover Sensors Award was won by Lauren Berry and Gormalaith Mandal from Moate Community School for their project ‘Spiral for curls, sleek for straight’. They also claimed second place in the Oriflame Cosmetics Award and second place in the Junior Physical Sciences Group Category.

Marist College student, David Toolan, won the new Sustainable Energy Ireland Award with his project ‘Better engines’.

Runner-up in the Best Display Awards went to Kate Dempsey, Fiona Craughwell and Julia Solovyov from St Joseph’s College, Summerhill for their project ‘Crunchtime’.

St Aloysius College student, Loughlan O’Regan, came second place in the Junior Ericsson Technology Awards (individual category ) for ‘Teaching the basics of sailing using information technology tools’.

Further information about SciFest is available at www.scifest.ie and www.ait.ie/scifest

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