Joseph O' Donoghue from St. Joseph's College Borrisoleigh with his entry 'Solar Sleeve'
After months of research, test experiments and compiling data, the wait was finally over for the 15 Tipperary schools who had earned a place at the 2017 BT Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS last week.
However the long hours and endless research certainly paid off as Tipperary schools proudly left Dublin with a final tally of eleven awards - a new record at the annual showcase.
A total of 23 projects were accepted to showcase at the RDS from Tipperary from schools including St. Joseph's College Borrisoleigh, Presentation Thurles, Borrisokane Community College, Colaiste Mhuire Co-Ed Thurles, Cisterian College Roscrea, Ursuline Thurles, Colaiste Phobail Roscrea, CBS Thurles, St. Mary's Nenagh and Presentation Clonmel.
And top of the class in Tipperary were the students from St. Joseph's College Borrisoleigh who collected six awards from the exhibition including a Science Foundation Ireland award for fifth year student John Ryan who developed a system of detecting online harassment to potentially stop online bullying. Meanwhile John's younger brother Liam was also a worthy winner, along with teammate David Moran, for their project “Unlicensed to kill” which stops unlicensed drivers getting behind the wheel. Another St. Joseph's student, Joseph O’Donoghue from Templederry, won the Irish Architecture Foundation award for Best Sustainable Design and Innovation in a built environment for his project, ‘Solar Sleeve’ which aims to double the functionality of existing wind turbines and grid connections by using photovoltaic cells.
There was sweet success for the students of Presentation Clonmel after 14 year old Caoimhe Woods and 13 year old Aoibhin Foley scooped the Alexion award for their app 'Diabetica' which helps diabetes patients manage their illness.
Elsewhere it was also a momentous day for the Abbey CBS in Tipperary Town who made a triumphant return to Young Scientist, taking home a top award for their first entry in 30 years.
The savvy students from the Ursuline Secondary School were also noted by the judges for their investigation on the use of peracetic acid in milking machines, earning the trio Laura Ryan, Sarah Ryan and Laura Cloonan Fennelly a Highly Commended Cert.
Over 1,100 students from 375 schools across the country competed for the coveted title of ‘BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year 2017’.
Speaking at the event Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said, “It is wonderful to see so many students entering the world of STEM through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Initiatives such as this have a critical role to play in raising awareness and engagement around science and technology and the impact it has on every aspect of our lives. I would like to congratulate every student, teacher and school community involved for their fantastic work this week. The Exhibition is a highlight for the education calendar every year, and I am delighted that BT will continue to support this event until 2020.”
And with the high calibre of entries from across the county there's no doubt the future looks golden for our Tipperary students.