Secondary school students from across Donegal took part in a major STEM project exhibition in Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Donegal, Letterkenny campus on Wednesday, May 18, as part of the 2022 SciFest Competition.
The event was coordinated by the ATU Donegal Faculty of Engineering and Technology with 104 students from schools across the county attending. The students displayed over 50 projects along the ATU main concourse on the day, with projects covering a wide variety of interesting topics.
Hughie McShane, of Ms. Donna Furey’s class in Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town, was awarded the SciFest Best Project Winner with his project titled, “An app to improve writing in children with dysgraphia”. Best Project Runner up was also from Ms. Furey’s class in Abbey Vocational, which was won by Micheál Deely and CJ Burke with their project titled, “A dyslexia lamp with a difference”.
The Best Project Award Winners from the SciFest@College 2022 regional STEM fairs will participate in the National Final competition which takes place in November 2022, in Dublin. Participants in the National Final will compete for the SciFest STEM Champion 2022 Award. This award consists of a trophy and an all-expenses-paid trip for the winning student(s) and their mentor to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.
Dr Gertie Taggart, Head of Faculty of Engineering and Technology, says, “The Faculty of Engineering and Technology was delighted to host the first face-to-face SciFest competition in ATU Donegal since 2019. Every year I am so impressed by the high standard of the projects displayed. This year saw the largest number of entries to the Donegal competition with over 50 projects and 100 pupils from schools across the northwest participating in the event. We wish Hughie the best of luck in the National Final competition in November!”
Presenters of the SciFest awards included George Porter, CFO of SciFest, and Emma Horgan, Research and Development Engineer at Boston Scientific. The ATU Awards were presented by Billy Bennett, VP for Academic Affairs and Registrar of ATU Donegal.
SciFest is an all-island science competition where second-level students showcase their science, technology, engineering, and maths projects at a series of one day science fairs held in 16 Higher Education Institutions across Ireland. The SciFest science fairs programme is a national initiative founded in 2006 to encourage a love of STEM through active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning.
The programme offers an innovative way to expose students to, and enhance their understanding of, STEM subjects.
SciFest@College affords students the opportunity to visit a third-level college, view the facilities, and get information on the various STEM courses available. The event is regionally based and is open to all secondary schools in the region with free entry meaning that SciFest is both accessible and inclusive.