Scientist wins €5,000 prize to bring wonder of physics to Irish commuters

9 Nov 2012

Physicist Dr Shane Bergin

Physicist Dr Shane Bergin has won €5,000 in a Designs for Learning competition at Science Gallery and he is now on a mission to bring physics challenges to daily commuters via his project ‘D’art of Physics’.

Bergin, who works in the school of physics at Trinity College Dublin, won first prize in the Designs for Learning contest, which was run between Science Gallery and the National Digital Research Centre’s Inventorium programme.

The competition was set up to find and develop projects to help people learn outside of traditional classroom settings.

With his D’art of Physics project, Bergin is aiming to bring physics to daily commuters by placing content on public transport that people will be able to interact with via their mobile devices.

In all, five innovators pitched their ideas to a judging panel on Wednesday night at Science Gallery. Judges included Bernard Kirk, director of the Galway Education Centre, maths education researcher and broadcaster Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, and Ben Hurley, head of the NDRC.

As well as Bergin, a team comprising brothers Neil and Sean McDonagh and Shane O Malley came second, winning €3,000 for a project called Whispering Corpse. Apparently, this is a digital science-based murder mystery targeted at Junior Cert students.

Sarah Jackson won third prize and a €2,000 award for her online English assessment application for non-English speaking children.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic