St. Peter's College student Oisín Ó Feinneadha was a member of the Irish team which brought home a gold medal in the European Union Science Olympiad.
The international event was held in the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA) in Almada, Portugal, across the river Tagus from Lisbon.
The Irish team comprising Oisín, a Transition Year student from Newtown Road in Wexford; Thomas Connolly of Christian Brothers College, Cork and Oscar Despard, Sandford Park School, Dublin finished in third place overall, taking home Ireland's second ever gold medal.
A second Irish team won a silver medal at the event which challenges top science students and gives them an opportunity to meet like-minded students from across the EU.
The European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO) is a team-based practical science competition consisting of integrated tasks in biology, chemistry and physics.
The format requires students collaborate and share tasks effectively. This year, their first task was to investigate the properties of cork that make it a suitable material for use in stoppering wine bottles and thermal insulation. In the second task, they explored marine resources, examining energy from waves, marine biodiversity and biotechnological potential of green and red algae. The students also took part in sociocultural and sports events, including surfing, visits to the Oceanarium in Lisbon, and Cristo Rei in Almada.
Ireland has taken part in EUSO since DCU hosted the inaugural competition in 2003, and has achieved many silver and bronze medals over the years. This year represents the best performance so far, with a gold and a silver medal.
St. Peter's College chemistry teacher Judith Thomas worked hard to help Oisín prepare for the competition.
The EUSO Country Coordinator and Team Leader Odilla Finlayson, Associate Professor at the School of Chemical Sciences in DCU, who accompanied them to Portugal, congratulated Oisín and St. Peters on the win.
'This was an outstanding performance by all the students and I would like to highlight their success and thank St. Peter's and its teachers for the support and help received in preparation for the competition', she said. Ireland's involvement in the competition is financially supported by the Department of Education and Skills.