World of ScienceMercy Mounthawk has a strong tradition in promoting the involvement of students in the world of Science. The school provides a number of extra-curricular opportunities for students to get involved in activities and we have found over the years that engagement in this way certainly promotes a love of the subject.
Young Scientist Exhibition
BT YOUNG SCIENTIST Two Highly Commended
We had four projects accepted and two were highly commended at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS this year. In total, 1,131 students from 237 schools all over Ireland presented 550 projects. The following projects were submitted from Mounthawk:
Natalia Talaga and Temisan King-Chaninomi Category: Biological and Ecological Title of Project: An Investigation into Whether Graphene Is An Effective Alternative To Plastic In their project, they investigated whether graphene is an effective alternative to plastic. Their project work consisted of various experiments- chemical and physical comparisons of both graphene and plastic in order to determine if plastic could replace graphene in the future.
Patrick Nolan, Nicola Moriarty and Sean Fitzgibbon Category: Technology Title of Project: Safety Sensor and Camera for Bicycles Their project involved designing and building a bicycle safety system that detects vehicles approaching from behind and alerts the cyclist. Based on RSA statistics and recommendation, they calculated a hazardous driving zone. The safety system has a camera which recognises cars using Tensor Flow, an object detection software. If a car enters the hazardous driving zone, the handlebars vibrate.
Samuel Abubakar Category: Technology Title of Project: Hawkbotdirect Hawkbot is chatbot which is short for a chat robot and that is an automated system that emulates human conversations through text chats or even text to speech or both. HawkDirect is a navigational app that Samuel created that allows you to find your way around a building or in his case a school.
Sean Hennessey and John Mc Crohon Category: Technology Title of Project: The Posture Pad Their project was an investigation into the Technological Solutions to Chronic Posture Related Ailments.
BT Young Scientist competition Success 2018
Mercy Mounthawk had four projects at the finals.
HPV: Why Not Me?
A statistical analysis on the negative attitudes regarding the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine by Ella Itsede
An investigation into the teaching and learning of Junior Certificate Physics and the promotion of STEM to female students.
An explorative study of Mounthawk investigating the factors influencing students’ STEM
This project won 3rd in the senior catagory…Well done to Olivia and Tamilla!!!
See them in action here.
The knowledge young adults have on homelessness today.
The girls are analysing the perceptions young adults have of homelessness today and attempt to make people more aware of the homelessness issue by Ciara Murphy and Jessica Oke Cotter
The Development of an Anti-microbial smartphone screen protector.
Robin Porter is developing an antibacterial paint that can be applied to a phone case to reduce bacteria growing on smart screens.
Robin won a Highly Commended Award for this project.
- Prior to 2018, Mounthawk was represented at the BT Young Scientist & Technology competition in the social and behavioural sciences section. The project aimed to explore the effects of positive psychology on students both on their mental health and on their academic performance. Aisling Shalvey, Daniel Carmody and Luke Stafford-Lacey are the members in the team.
Below is an account of the experience of the 2012 Young Scientist team by Luke Stafford-Lacey:
I completed a course in Positive Psychology last year and I was so impressed with its effect upon me that I wanted to note its effects on other students. Daniel Carmody, Aisling Shalvey and I decided to form a team to complete a project for the BT Young Scientist competition in Dublin. We had a lot of work to do as we had to gather data on students before they completed the Positive Psychology course and after it was finished. We also had to put together surveys in order to elicit which were the most effective interventions from the course. Our project was based on the benefits positive psychology has on the mental health and academic performance of students.
To be honest, I never thought of myself as a young scientist as I am not very scientific by nature. However, our project was to be placed in the Behavioral Science section and that was much more suited to my more creative and sensitive nature. Our Christmas break was taken up with analyzing data and learning how to do a statistical analysis of our findings. It certainly took us out of our comfort zone which, according to the positive psychology pioneers, is great for the brain.
Armed with our project, a very impressive poster and a plant masquerading as a gratitude tree, we travelled to Dublin by train. The relief at having finally finished this gargantuan task was unreal. Our journey into the world of science began once we entered the RDS and put up our stand. Within minutes, a man dressed in a red coat arrived with a note telling us that the judge was coming in the afternoon. Phew. Time to prepare. This was the start of a hectic week where I really had to work on my public persona.
The three of us took turns going around looking at other projects. There were some amazing projects such as a carbon monoxide invention that texted the owner if carbon monoxide levels were raised. There were also projects on teenage gambling habits, taking sports supplements and our natural deference to authority. My brain felt it was being fed at an enormous rate. A lot of information in such a short time made me feel as though my brain was short circuiting!
The judge, an elderly scholar from Trinity, came and read though our project. We were able to answer his questions but he wasn’t at all sure about the philosophy behind positive psychology. I hope he was more enlightened having spoken to us. After he left, we had plenty of media interest. We were visited by Mr. Jimmy Denihan, Mr. Arthur Spring and Mr. Michael Healy Rae who were all impressed with our work. Arthur Spring commented that positive psychology was what was needed in the Dail what with all the negative doom and gloom talk on the economy.
I learned a lot about myself from my time in Dublin. I had to cope with talking to a lot of people about our work and I enjoyed being in the public eye. It was very exciting having radio stations interviewing us. I also felt that the information on positive psychology needed to be shared with as many people as possible so I was happy to do this. Teenagers need coping mechanisms especially with all this negative talk and lack of prospects for young people.
Our project was highly recommended by the judges and we were pleased with this acknowledgement of our work. The best thing about entering the young scientists will be the memory that will stay with me forever. I would certainly recommend any student to enter this great competition. The work is worth it. The attention is top class.
SCIFEST NATIONAL AWARDS MOUNTHAWK GETS EXCELLENCE IN STEM AWARD
Diana Meriakri and Jessica Murphy were the Kerry recipients of the Boston Scientific Medical Devices award in the regional Finals of Scifest in I.T. Tralee. They represented the region in the All- Ireland Finals with their project “An investigation into the use of antiprotons in Cancer Therapy” where they received an excellence in STEM Award in recognition of their success.
192 students from 11 schools were showcasing 91 projects in this event. Mercy Mounthawk had 15 entries into the competition this year. Mercy Mounthawk was the school that walked away with four of the major awards. Diana and Jessica will compete in the National finals in November 2018.
Maths and Science Award: Ella Itsede
Best Communicator award: Sean Hennessy and John McCrohan
Intel Best Technology Award : Robin Porter
Boston Scientific Medical Device Award: Diana Meriaki and Jessica Murphy
2013 will go down as a year that Mounthawk can be immensely proud of its achievements in the Science field. Mounthawk won the overall award at Scifest 2013 as well as 2 other prestigious awards.
The overall prize was won by first years Colin Clark, Colin McDaid and Diarmuid O’Connor for their project entitled ‘The Anaesthetic Effect of Natural Plant Oils on Goldfish’. The project received wide attention especially as this an area of growth in the fish farming industry. The depth of knowledge and the quality of research carried out in this project is simply astounding and for a first year team to take such a prestigious prize is very promising for the future.
The special prize for Maths and Science went to Killian O’Regan, 2nd Year. His project investigated whether computer games helped improve target shooting accuracy in real life.
The Discover Space special award went to Thomas Curran, 1st year, for his hypothesis on the nature of Black Holes.
Enormous credit is due to the whole Science Department in the school for their continued excellence in inspiring young minds. Special mention must go to Ms Mary Enright for her sterling efforts and continued dedication to Scifest. Having landed second prize for a number of years, the overall prize in 2013 was well deserved.
Science Quiz Teams
Senior Science Students in the top 5% in the country
ISTA Senior science quiz was held on the 15th of November in IT Tralee. Three Mounthawk teams took part. 21 teams represented schools from throughout the county for the Kerry Group Senior Science Quiz. Tralee’s top team Mounthawk Lucy O’Sullivan, Michael O’Gara and Tiernan Brosnan were narrowly beaten by one point in a tie-breaking round. They qualified to represent the region in the finals at Trinity on the Saturday the 25th November. 50 teams took part in the final representing 20 counties. Almost 1100 leaving Cert students took part in the regional finals and 150 students qualified for the National finals. Mounthawk finished in the top 5% in the country!
Junior Science Team come first in Kerry ISTA Quiz
……….The Junior ‘science quiz team came first in Kerry at the ISTA Science Quiz
Two students were selected for the Irish junior science Olympiad . Kate Waldron and Patrick Nolan were identified by the state examinations commission based on their junior certificate examination results in Maths and Science. The IrEUSO took place in DCU on Saturday the 3rd of November.
First Year Science Quiz
Senior Science Quiz – 2nd Place
ISTA Senior Science Quiz took place on the 16th November in the I.T. Tralee. Twenty teams from all over the county took part. The Tralee event was one of a series of competitions that took place simultaneously across the country to select those who will take part in the National Finals in Trinity College on November 25th. After eight rounds, Mounthawk’s Eoghan O’ Buachalla, Lauren O’Grady and Nessa McGarthy were joint second. After two tie- breaking rounds, one point denied them a place in the finals at Trinity. The other teams representing Mounthawk were Daragh Clarke, Diarmuid O’Connor, Daniel Carton, Vlad Lica, Rachel Bowler and John Holmes.
1st and 2nd Place in ISTA Junior Science Quiz
22 teams represented the county on the 22nd March in I.T. Tralee for the junior ISTA Science Quiz. The competition was very strong and after six rounds one point separated Mounthawk from the winners. Mathew Dineen, Patrick Nolan, Pablo Lopez Phelan and Nour Khidir came 1st place for Mounthawk followed by joint second Keela Hughes, Daire Doyle OBrien, Eoin OConnor, Sean Fitzgibbon, Cormac O’Riordan, Mathew Quilter, Isobel Keane and Michalina Gora.
The First Year Science Quiz took place on the 17th November in the Centenary Hall. Thirty teams took part in the event. There was a very high standard again this year. Tie-breaking rounds had to be used to decide the winners. The quiz was sponsored by Cotters Caterers. The money raised by the event was donated to a local charity. Sean Gannon and Laura Egan were the quizmasters and the sound was provided by Adam Butler. Some Transition Years and Fifth Years also helped to run the event.
Mounthawk won the Kerry round of the ISTA Senior Science Quiz in November with a thrilling tie-break finish. Great credit is due to Ms Enright for mentoring the team. The winning team consisted of Diamuid Moriarty, Marcus O’Brien and Grace Egan. As winners they went on to represent Kerry at the national finals in Trinity College Dublin.
Senior Science Quiz
Two teams represented Mounthawk in the regionals of the Irish Science Teachers’ Senior Science Quiz. The quiz took place in the IT Tralee on the 15th November. Richard Raftery, Rebecca Maunsell, Louise O’Connor, Cathal O’Donnell, Sinead Hill and Sally O’Regan were the students that took part.
ISTA Junior Science Quiz Three science teams took part in the ISTA junior science quiz in the IT Tralee on the 21st March. They were narrowly beaten for a qualifying place.
Gavin Connolly, Aoife Grimes, Ciara Holmes, Ciaran Ryan, Katie
Cronin, Sean Dowling, Jesse Brosnan, Leandra Nana, Rebecca
Kelly, Alex White, Tasmin Stack and Alana McElligott.
ISTA First Year Science Quiz
First Year Science
24 teams took part in this year’s First Year Science Quiz in aid of Alzheimers. The quiz was sponsored by Cotters Caterers. It was held in the school Gym on the 15th November. This year’s quiz masters were Vanessa Dineen and Liam Gannon.
First place: Daragh Clarke, Colin McDaid and Pierse
Second place: Thomas O’Sullivan, Thomas Curran and Thomas Healy.
Third place: Gerard Tansley, Patrick O’Donnell and Hugh Wells.
Diarmuid Moriarty qualified for the finals of “The Irish Junior Science Olympiad” in Dublin City University. Diarmuid qualified through his achievements in the Junior Certificate Science Examination and were identified by the State Examinations
Commission. Diarmuid was selected in the Physics category. Diarmuid has also represented the school in ISTA science quiz.
Two teams represented Mounthawk in the regionals of the Irish science teachers senior science quiz. Christine Mullins, Donnacha MacGarry and Conor Higgins came second and qualified to represent the region in the All-Irelands in Trinity College on Saturday the 26th of November. Cara Enright , James O’Connell and Tim Farrell also took part . The quiz took place on the 17th of November in the IT.
Junior Science Quiz 2012
23 teams took part in this year’s First Year Science Quiz in aid of charity. It was held in the school Gym on the 18th of Nov. This year’s quiz master was Seán Fitzgerald. The winners were Gráinne Clerkin, Aisling Williams and Ciara McCarthy. 2nd place: Mary Ann O’Sullivan, Amy Shalvey and Abigail Mahoney. 3rd place: Philip Quilter, David Oyeurande and Colm Carmody.