Professor Tom Collins with Rachel Burns and George Porter, Colaiste Dun An Ri.

Colaiste Dún an Rí scoops two prizes at SciFest competition

Hundreds of students from schools across the North Leinster and South Ulster region recently came together to compete in the SciFest@DkIT 2024 regional competition at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). On the day this exciting and high energy event had 140 projects on exhibition and almost 300 second level students in attendance. The judges had an extremely difficult task of shortlisting the regional winners due to the high calibre of projects presented.

Colaiste Dun An Ri in Kingscourt walked away with two SciFest awards, the first picked up by Rachel Burns who received the SciFest Chemistry Award for her project ‘Has the solution to Ireland's energy crisis been on our dinner plates this whole time? An investigation into alternative feed stocks for the production of biodiesel fuel contributing to a cleaner environment’.

The second award went to Alana McElroy and Megan Hurt, who took home the EirGrid Cleaner Climate Award for ‘Periods without Plastic - why is there a reluctance amongst females to use more sustainable period products such as period pants’.

"It was such a wonderful day, and we were all inspired with the inventiveness and ingenuity of all the projects. We can safely say the future is bright for STEM in the Northeast,” said Dr Edel Healy, Head of School of Health & Science, DkIT.

SciFest is an all-island STEM initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second-level students. Winners from each regional STEM fair go on to compete at a National Final in November.

Sponsors of the event included Intel, Boston Scientific, EirGrid and The Department of Education.