Coláiste Mhuire’s Science Students Snatch Top Prize

Coláiste Mhuire in Buttevant were celebrating a fantastic win this week as they came first in the Cork Chamber School Science Awards 2011 in Cork Institute of Technology on Saturday 5th November. Ben O’Connor, Joseph Bolster, Aaron Dundon and Jack Ivory took home €500 for lab supplies, a class visit to Science Gallery Dublin and a plaque. They also have the honour of having their project on display at the 2011 Discovery Science Exhibition in Cork’s City Hall. The awards, sponsored by Boston Scientific were established to encourage second-level students to consider studying science subjects at third level.

Coláiste Mhuire had three teams entered in the competition and great credit is to be given to Oliver Noonan, Kevin Lenehan, Luke Whelan, Ronan Donovan and Seamus Madigan who spent a lot of their mid-term break in school completing their project. Under the general theme of “Science: Innovation and Creativity” Oliver, Ronan and Seamus created a 32 scale car run by a solar panel.

Kevin and Luke produced a wind-powered bicycle by attaching a wind turbine to the back of the bike which was attached by a chain to the back wheel. The use of cogs helped alter the direction of the wheel ensuring more accurate direction.

The winning team’s project was a spring-powered bicycle which they designed to make cycling easier. Ben explained how the concept worked “When you pedal you move a chain which is on a sprocket and the back shaft so that it moves the bike, which then coils back the spring. When you stop pedalling, the spring starts to uncoil. This moves a shaft with another sprocket and chain to another gear. I then added a gear on the back shaft to change direction of the wheels to go forward. Since gears and chains were moving shafts in the opposite direction we had two slip clutches to prevent the shafts seizing.”

On the same day in Dublin City University, two of the Coláiste’s senior science students Edmund O’ Neill and Bethany Cushing were presented with certificates for their participation in the Irish Junior Science Olympiad.Both students were nominated for their outstanding Junior Cert-ificate results in Science and Maths.