What's the secret of Milltown's science success?


Published 16/01/2013 | 09:16

Robert Leask of Presentation Secondary School, Milltown, winner of the first prize in the Senior Individual Technology category for his project 'Ellipse Compass' with his teacher Denis Maguire and Milltown Presentation Secondary School principal Cormac... Credit: Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

PRESENTATION Secondary School Milltown is celebrating a unique three-in-a-row this week after Leaving Cert student Robert Leask collected the school's third category win at the Young Scientist of the Year competition in Dublin's RDS.

Robert's elliptical compass wowed judges who were impressed by the originality and usefulness of the design created by the Milltown student and he was duly awarded top senior spot in the technology category.

His success follows in the footsteps of Aoife Stevens and Niamh MacSweeney who also collected prizes in 2011 and 2012.

An avid Mathematical and Technical Graphics student who hopes to study engineering at third level, Robert's says his idea emerged after reading the notebooks of Leonardo De Vinci after which he decided to develop the instrument which had never been done before.

He built his very first model from Lego yet several months later his work took pride of place at the Dublin show. The four judges were understood to have been highly impressed with the quality of his work and his depth of knowledge.

Robert's mentor, science teacher Denis Maguire, labelled the award winner "extremely capable and self-motivated".

"In Tech Graphics you typically have to draw the ellipse freehand but Robert pondered why everything else was so precise yet the ellipse wasn't and that got his mind working," Denis stated.

"It probably was one of the cleverest inventions presented in the RDS but, with the role of computers in present day, the use of use of such a device in the future is probably still undiscovered," he added.

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