More than 20 STEAM award winners revealed at ESB Creative Tech Fest

6 Nov 2018

Two boys at the ESB Creative Tech Fest held at The Foundry in Dublin. Image: Luke Maxwell

Cork teenager Alicia O’Sullivan was named as the ESB TechSpacer of the year at the Creative Tech Fest event in Dublin, with many other award winners also named.

In an effort to promote all things science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM), the ESB Creative Tech Fest was recently held at The Foundry in Google’s Dublin campus, with 300 projects submitted for this year’s awards.

The event aims to celebrate the creations and inventions of young people aged between 10 and 18 involved in a number of youth clubs across the country, with the grand prize winner being awarded the ESB TechSpacer of the Year.

So, it was announced that 17-year-old Alicia O’Sullivan of the YMCA in Cork was awarded the top prize for her digital creativity project called ‘I Care’, reflecting her passion for social advocacy. For her effort, she received a cheque for €500 to invest in her project as well as a year-long mentorship programme from ESB.

‘An incredible showcase of creativity and innovation’

Familiar to many readers, scientist and entrepreneur Ciara Judge was the event’s keynote speaker, where she charted her journey from winning the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, to her success at the Google Global Science Fair. Since then, she has gone on to become co-director of her first company, Germinaid Innovations, and her recent start-up, PurchaseMate, all while studying at MIT.

As well as the exhibition, talks and workshop, entertainment on the day came from multi-instrumentalist and rising Irish electronic artist Daithí Ó Drónaí and contemporary trad pop band Tógra, former TechSpacers who performed bilingually.

Speaking of this year’s event, ESB’s chief executive Pat O’Doherty said: “ESB Creative Tech Fest is an incredible showcase of creativity and innovation from young people across the country, and highlights their potential to find creative solutions to the challenges they face today and will face in the future.”

A number of other awards were handed out on the night, including:

ESB TechSpacer Special Recognition Award: Catherine McCready, Foróige Killybegs, Co Donegal

ESB TechSpace Educator of the Year: Don Rogers, NEWKD, Castleisland, Co Kerry

Best Photograph: ‘Robot Family’ by Cillian O’Toole (11), Ballinfoyle, Co Galway

Best GIF: ‘Global Goals Eyes’ by Bethan Jenkins (17), Poppy Cairns (17), Aoibheann Geary (17) and David Walsh (17), YMCA, West Cork

Best Photoshop Editing: ‘Flower Fairy’ by Cassidy Rushe (13), Carrickmacross Library, Co Monaghan

Best Short Video: ‘What a Day’ by Lena Goumaa (15), Alisha Tsoumbou (15) and Shakira Adelakun (16), SWICN, Co Dublin

Best Music Video: ‘Riches’ by Bethan Jenkins (17), Poppy Cairns (17), Aoibheann Geary (17), Liadh Pyburn (17) and Ruari Maguire (18), YMCA, West Cork

Create with Purpose: ‘I Care’ by Alicia O’Sullivan (17) and Aaron O’Sullivan (22), YMCA, West Cork

Design Award: T-shirts by Madison, Madison Lynch (10), Carrickmacross Library, Co Monaghan

Best Sound Production: Market Saturation by Aidan Maxwell (16), BRYR, Co Dublin

Makey Makey Master: Games Cabinet by Aiden Rogers, Clare Youth Service, Ennis, Co Clare

Best Stem Racer: NEWKD, Castleisland, Co Kerry

STEMbassador: Eco-Stop by Mohammed, The Clubhouse, Foróige, Co Dublin

Duais Chruthaitheachta: ‘Cubby an Ciúb’ by Adam Ó Cuinneagáin, Coláiste an Eachréidh, Co Galway

Duais Físiúil: ‘The Curtain Caller’ by Tommy Finn, James Ó Dubháin and Pádraig Ó hAiniféin, Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Dingle, Co Kerry

Duais Fuaime: ‘Amhránaiocht ar an Seanós’ by Ciarán Mac Craith, Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Co Galway

CS@Foróige TechSpace Innovative Award: Foróige Computer Clubhouse website by Ethan Bradbury (16), Foróige Blanchardstown Computer Clubhouse, Co Dublin

Inventive Award (MicroBit Robots): Mark Hynes (13), Foróige Castlebar, Co Mayo

Creative Computer Science Project: ‘Scratch Witch Game’ by Layla Storey (9), Foróige Huntstown, Co Dublin

Bliain Na Gaeilge Award Cúpla Focal le TechSpace: ‘Pugs’ by Jack Sheehan, Foróige Knocknaheeny, Co Cork


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic