There were huge achievements for Moate Community School students in this year’s SciFest Regional Final at TUS (Technological University of the Shannon) on 24th April: Three Special Awards, including the SciFest Overall Runner-up Best Project and Eight Category Awards.

For his project ‘A Crystal-Clear Way to Solve Ireland’s Energy Crisis’, Fionn Campbell designed a prototype speed ramp which could harvest electricity from the kinetic energy of cars. He was awarded 1st Place in Intermediate Physical Sciences, the EirGrid Cleaner Energy Award and Runner Up Best Project for this work.

Fifth Year students Diana Sholomko and Anzhela Maduabum were awarded 1st Place in the Senior Technology Category as well as the Spectrum Signs Best Group Display Award. Their project was titled “Using Technology to Optimise Drying of Clothes in Irish Unpredictable Weather”. The students, who are originally from Urkania, designed a Technology system using BBC Micro:Bits and Humidity and Temperature Sensors to monitor weather conditions, sending alerts to householders, ultimately saving costly energy expenses.

For her project ‘Crouch-Bind-Set…PROTECT’, Mollie Quinn won the NISO Health and Safety 2nd Place Award for her project which investigated the materials most suitable for use in scrum caps to reduce concussions in sports.

2nd year student Rachel Coghlan won 3rd Place in the Junior Physical Sciences Individual Category for her project ‘Is Homegrown Healthier? An Analysis of the Vitamin C Content and Carbon Footprint of both Irish and Imported Fruit’.

1st year Ally Duffy won 2nd Place in the Junior Physical Sciences Individual Category for her project ‘Alternative Construction Methods to Solve Ireland’s Housing Crisis’. In her project, Ally compared the thermal properties of a variety of housing models.

Aoife Howlin, Aoibhinn Kelly and Meabh Gorman won 3rd place in the Junior Physical Sciences Group Category for their project ‘Ashen Alchemy: Crafting Sustainable Soap from Fire’. In their project they isolated bases from soap and examined their suitability for use in soap production.

Doireann Keena, Lucy Keane and Niamh Noone were awarded 1st Place in the Junior Physical Sciences Group Category for their project ‘Glow Guard Jewels: Utilising the UV Sensitivity of Crystals to Produce Jewellery to Promote Sun Safety’. In their project they tested whether different crystals would be suitable for use in a warning mechanism to alert consumers of the overuse of UV radiation in nail treatments.

Leah Winters and Millie O’Donovan won 1st Place in Junior Group Life Sciences for their project ‘BioGuard: A Sustainable Weedkiller for the Future’.

TY students Ciona Lawless, Lauren Fox and Niamh Heduvan were ‘Highly Commended’ in the Intermediate Life Sciences Category for their project ‘Lead Busters: Harnessing Invertebrates for Soil Clean-up in Developing Countries’.

Nine other projects from MCS students were presented on the day at TUS:

In her project, ‘Establishing the Effects of Antibiotics on Plant Growth’, Sorcha Aspell studied the impact of the agricultural release of antibiotics on grassland habitats.

For their project ‘Eco Methane: Investigating the Effectiveness of Alternative Diets at Minimising Bovine Methane Emissions’, Lucy Browne and Lucy Carroll studied the methane production of groups of cattle fed different diets.

In their project ‘Ivy Eyed: Harnessing Natures Remedy for Ovine Eye Infections’, Grainne Coolohan and Leah McCaul investigated the effectiveness of different plant extracts at treating snow blindness in sheep.

Gemma Coolohan and Hallie Dunne investigated whether different additives could reduce the spoilage of cut flowers in their project ‘Solute Solutions: Enhancing Cut Flower Longevity’.

In their project “Our Turlough at Dún Na Sí – An Analysis of Water Quality to Support Biodiversity”, Elodie and Illaria Cullen and Aoibhin Doyle investigated the Abiotic and Biotic factors of water samples from the turlough supporting its diverse range of plants and animals.

Ella Lacy and Sarah Keane’s project ‘pH Mara: Utilising Native Seaweeds to Reduce Carbon Footprint on Dairy Farms’ involved investigating the suitability of seaweed species for use in carbon storage systems.

Séan Farrelly investigated the links between the public’s susceptibility to misinformation and their source of news in his project ‘Media and Misinformation: Investigating the Effect of Media Source on the Public’s Perception of News Events’.

Seara Henson and Eva Fox’s project ‘5G Radiation: A Help or Hindrance to Biological Processes?’ investigated the effect of 5G masts on the both flora and fauna.

Aaron Fegan’s project ‘Diverse Minds, Unified Learning: Making Education Inclusive for Students with Autism’ studied various environmental conditions that affect the learning of students on the autism spectrum.

In total 220 projects were showcased on the day at TUS, from schools all over the midlands. Competition was high. The standard of projects was exceeded previous years, but the judges were as always amazing, encouraging and interested to find out about the student’s investigations. Judging took place over 2 hours in the morning, with students being interviewed by two to eight judges, depending.

Congratulations to all the MCS students who presented their projects on the day.

Names for Group Photo

Front Row: Leah Winters, Ciona Lawless, Gemma Coolohan, Hallie Dunne, Lucy Brown, Aoibheann Kelly, Aoife Howlin, Aaron Feagan and Seán Farrelly

Back Row: Ella Lacey, Sarah Keane, Seara Hensen, Millie O’Donovan, Laura Fox, Niamh Heduvan, Eva Fox, ~Mollie Quinn, Niamh Noone, Allie Duffy, Lucy Keane, Maebh Gorman, Fionn