Tuesday 16 October 2018

Cushinstown Mini Scientists' sky high rocket ambition

Ryan Cummins and Leah Doyle
Ryan Cummins and Leah Doyle
Luke Powderly, Aaron Franklin, Ben Reeves and Leah White
Sarah Murray, Ella Mythen and Grace and Isabel Walsh
Austin Mooney, Clara O'Farrell, Cormac Martin and David Kent
DJ Dempsey, Niall Roche and Robbie Reeves

David Looby

A group of Cushinstown NS pupils showed sky high ambition with their rocket entry in the Intel Mini Scientist awards, landing them over the moon and in contention for further glory in the national finals in Dublin in a fortnight's time.

Teacher Kate Kneafsey's 4th Class pupils came up with some amazing projects demonstrating their love of science.

The competition is open to 4th, 5th and 6th Class pupils across the country. This is the school's first time entering and Ms Kneafsey said she was in awe of some of the work created.

Pupils were placed in different groups and left to their own devices to develop projects. One group studied how the lungs function, another focussed on the human brain, while a group of students interested in farm science devoted their energies to comparing the benefits of the zero-grazing system to traditional dairy farming.

One group made a moving stickman by pouring water on a stickman drawn on a whiteboard, displaying how oil and water don't mix.

Another group studied eggs and how their oval shape informs architecture and buildings like the Taj Mahal, as well as bridges. For the breadth and extent of their research the group came second.

The spectacular water rocket stole the show, however.

This zooming, airborne wonder was created through a mixture of ingenuity, teamwork and engineering perspicacity.

Built from 100 per cent recyclable materials, including a bottle top and toy wings made from cardboard, the pupils tested different psi (pollution) levels and used different amounts of water, settling on 60 psi and one third volume of water to make it fly.

And fly it did once hooked up to an air compressor provided by one of the schoolchildren's parents. 81ft high before the school, in fact, in eight seconds flat!

A parachute was built into the rocket that automatically released mid-air.

'I was very surprised by it,' Ms Kneafsey said.

The group will be judged at the Intel Mini Scientist All Ireland final in Blanchardstown on December 8th in the biggest ever Irish Intel competition.

'They are taking the rocket; I'm not sure how but it will be there and it will be flown outdoors to the delight of the competition organisers.'

New Ross Standard