Monday 20 May 2019

Rush student takes top prize at SciFest

A St Joseph's Secondary School student from Rush has taken the top prize at SciFest.

The top prize on the day, the SFI Best Project Award, went to Daniel O'Brien from St Joseph's Secondary School, Rush for his project, 'Seal Whiskers - Bioinspiration for Oceantech', a project which he also exhibited at the Young Scientist Exhibition.

Daniel will go on to participate in the SciFest National Final where he will compete for the opportunity to represent Ireland at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Anaheim, California in May 2020.

Describing his winning project, Daniel O'Brien said: 'In the ocean, there is difficulty in reliably tracking moving objects underwater, due to poor visibility.

'Sonar is a well-understood technology that has been used for many years, but it does have limitations in the tracking of smaller allusive objects in complex seafloor topographies.

'These limitations can include the reflection of surface waves and 'scattering' effects.

'My project investigates how an artificial seal whisker sensory system could help future marine robots explore the ocean, in an automated, computer-controlled manner.'

As one of the 16 regional venues hosting a SciFest STEM fair, SciFest@TU Dublin - Kevin Street saw more than 130 students from schools all over Dublin, and neighbouring counties exhibit their projects put their knowledge of STEM to the test.

SciFest@TU Dublin - Kevin Street co-ordinator Ciarán O'Leary said: 'We're delighted to have hosted another successful SciFest event in 2019 and the first SciFest event for Technological University Dublin.

'SciFest is always one of the most exciting days for us here in Kevin Street.

'We want to encourage our young people to take science, technology, engineering and maths subjects in school and College, to have careers in STEM areas, and to join the long line of successful Irish scientists who have made, and continue to make, some of the most important scientific discoveries in the world.' TU Dublin will host two further SciFest events on its Tallaght Campus on May 2 and in Blanchardstown on May 8.

Fingal Independent