St. Brendan’s welcomes Sci Fest 2016


Thursday, February 25th: Over 35 students from first, second and third year exhibited 19 projects in SciFest@School in St.Brendan’s College, Killarney. This was the school’s second SciFest@School and it was the biggest one yet!


Students demonstrated their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths through their creative and innovative projects.


The overall prize went to Daniel O’Sullivan who constructed a computer console and game emulator. The

Daniel O'Sullivan with his Raspberry Pi microcomputer to use the device to allow one to download old video games at the SciFest competition in St Brendan's College, Killarney. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

Daniel O’Sullivan with his Raspberry Pi microcomputer to use the device to allow one to download old video games at the SciFest competition in St Brendan’s College, Killarney.
Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

emulator is capable of emulating numerous different consoles and allowing the user to play their respective games from example the Nintendo, Playstation and Sega Megadrive. It can play games which date back to the 70s right up to present day games. The emulator additionally has the ability to connect to WIFI and download series as well as films.


Second prize was awarded to Seán Myers, Seán Farndon and Aaron Duggan who are designing a revolutionary headphones set which is constructed by utilising the most desirable qualities of over 20 different exisiting headphone sets.


David Osborne finished in third place for his research on modern day computer hacking and how it affects each person. He completed tests on five of the most commonly used free anti-virus software. He surveyed numerous students on what type of social networks they use as well as highlighting to people how easy it is to hack social accounts. He discovered that there even are apps available to educate you on how to hack something.


The prize for best communicator went to Christian Casey and Jack Linehan with their project ‘Phone locator chip’. Their project involves inserting locator microchips into phones. These locator chips can be used to locate the phones if they are misplaced.

The prize for best research was awarded to Sean Collins. This student looked at the human brain structure.   He constructed his own brain model and investigated how concussion happens. He looked at what sport has the highest concussion rate, what happens to the brain when concussion occurs, types of blows which cause concussion and the links between concussions and memory loss?

The prize for best visual display went Armandas Bendaravicius. Tidal power, which could make a considerably energy contribution, has long been the goal of scientists the world over. But while many have dreamed, few have delivered in harnessing the ocean’s strength. As a result tidal energy has lagged far behind solar and wind powers with typical barriers cited as cost, hostile saltwater environment and damage to existing marine life. Armandas’ project addresses using tidal power.   Armandas’ project is about placing turbines underwater and using water currents to generate electricity.  He constructed three model under-water turbines which can generate electricity and this has been shown by a multi-meter.

The award for best environmental award went to Jamie Muldoon. Jamie discovered there is a large number of potential and established non-native species on the island of Ireland but Jamie wished to investigate which of these have damaging effects on native species and ecosystems and which will lend themselves to management? He investigated the effects of the introduction of Rhodendrum and Japenese Knotweed on Ireland’s ecosystems.

The award for best biological project William Brosnan and Dylan Murphy. These students investigated the disease Emphysema and how it is a life long struggle. They looked at the causes of the disease, how the disease effects the human body, how the disease can be controlled and how the disease can be avoided. They constructed a model using plastic straws to show the difficulty in breathing when diagnosed with emphysema.


Commenting on the success of the science fair, Mr. Seán Coffey said: “We are delighted to host SciFest@School in our school because the SciFest competition allows students to develop their study of science, technology, engineering and maths, outside of the classroom and apply it to everyday life. All of the students have worked very hard on their projects and should be very proud of their achievements. We all wish the best of luck to the students going on to the next stage of the SciFest competition which will see them compete in SciFest@College in Tralee IT.”


Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO added: “Since SciFest@School was launched nationwide in 2011 it has gone from strength to strength. I am continually amazed by the passion and dedication demonstrated by the students. SciFest@School is a celebration of STEM subjects. It encourages students to push the boundaries of the classroom, use their knowledge of science, investigate and be creative in their projects. The achievement of these students is an inspiration to us all and is a tribute to them and to the hard work and support of their teachers.”


Please see for further information.

Notes to editor:

SciFest is a series of one day science fairs, funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover programme, Intel and Boston Scientific. It is also supported by a number of other companies and organisations.


SciFest@School is where a second-level school hosts their own in-house SciFest science fair. SciFest@School was introduced in 2011 and there has been strong demand from schools to participate – 40 schools participated in 2014/2015. SciFest@School is the first strand of the SciFest programme. Second-level students can also participate in SciFest@College in their local Institute of Technology or in DCU. Winners from these fairs go on to compete in a national final – SciFest@SFI Discover – for the chance to represent Ireland at science fairs in the USA and the Netherlands.


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