St Brendan’s SciFest Superstars 2014:

On the 7th of November 2014, Harry, James and Jack Knoblauch represented St Brendan’s College at the SciFest National Competition in theIMG_20141107_102338 Marino Institute of Education, Dublin 9. They were supported by their parents Mary and Joe, brother Tom, sister Jessica, and teacher Marie Vaughan. Their project entitled ‘Hydro-might’ investigated the feasibility of micro-hydroelectricity in today’s environment. On winning the regional final of SciFest in Tralee Institute of Technology, the three brothers have worked hard on developing their project – gathering data on water volumes, and water speed in the Clydagh River near their house. The boys worked on creating a micro-hydroelectric wheel in a large aquarium and successfully created electricity which lit a bulb on their prototype.

On arrival to the Institute Harry, James and Jack quickly set up their visual presentation, working prototypes, report booklets and IMG_20141107_213412interactive displays to convey their investigation findings. Consequently, judging began and the pressure was on!! A total of twelve judges visited each of the fifteen projects in the SciFest National Competition.

Straight away the SEM boys were capturing the attention of both the judges and members of the public. People were intrigued by the enthusiasm and dedication of the boy’s to their projects. They must be commended for the excellent preparation and thorough explanations of the concepts. One of the judges summed up the effort made by the boys “Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.”Once judging had finished, all the students were invited to take a seat in a nearby lecture theatre for the prizewinning ceremony.

Minister Damien English spoke about the success of SciFest. He remarked that “SciFest 2014 boasts a record-breaking number of entries IMG_20141107_102142with just over 6,000 students participating, a 13% increase in entries from 2013”. Minister Damien English proceeded to naming the list on award recipients – Harry, James and Jack each received an “Excellence in STEM Award”. Finally it was time to name out the top five projects in the country for SciFest 2014, We are pleased to say that Harry, James and Jack were the winners of the 5th prize an Irish Science Teacher’s Association engraved trophy. It was a great achievement for Harry, Jack and James and already they are looking at ways to improve their project for future competitions. Well done!

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