Three Irish students pick up awards at world’s largest school science competition
Conor Foy from Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom, Co Limerick

Three Irish students pick up awards at world’s largest school science competition

21 May 2014

Three Irish students have picked up several prizes at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.

At this year’s event, three teams from Ireland and one from Northern Ireland took part, having secured their places at Intel ISEF after they became winners of Intel-sponsored prizes at various Ireland-based science fairs over the past 12 months.

Conor Foy, a fifth-year student at Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom, Co Limerick, picked up both a special award and a category award at the event for his project, which is based on a device that can measure, display, transmit and record the timing difference between, and the force exerted by, a crew of rowers.

The system is unique in that it looks at the timing of the oar and the force of each individual stroke, and not just the movement of the seat. Conor was awarded first place special award by the Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. receiving US$2,500 as part of his prize. Conor then went on to receive a category award during the Grand Final ceremony in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering division.

John Neill, a student at Down High School, Northern Ireland, also picked up a category award in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering division for his project, Fone2Find, which is based on a key fob design created on Solidworks, which creates an STL File which allowed the fob to be manufactured through rapid prototyping.

The idea is that the fob could be used numerous different contexts to help users identify a range of products that are lost or misplaced.

St Paul’s College, Raheny, Dublin, student Paul Clarke was the recipient of a Special Award from the American Mathematical Society for his project, which has solved a problem related to the Travelling Salesman Problem, which has been baffling mathematics since the 1930s.

More than 7m students across the world participated in feeder fairs for Intel ISEF over the past 12 months and this year the overall first-place winner, who received the US$75,000 Gordon E Moore Award, was Nathan Han of Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts, who earned the award this year for studying mutations in genes that normally suppress the growth of tumours.

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John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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