August 8, 2011


This year over thirty students from Desmond College and Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonbá attended Scifest in Limerick Institute of Technology on May 2nd.

The aim of SciFest is to help students to develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for science and maths through active, team based, inquiry-based learning and to provide an opportunity for second level students to present and display their scientific investigations.

Some of the students and projects involved include:

Alice Brislane & Leanne Browne: “An Innovative Bedroom Door”

Kiara Carroll & Leah Kelly: “Fruity Smoothies”

Eamonn Cooper: “Growth regulators and their effects on flowering plants”

Students Warren Gleeson & Sean Duffy also displayed their BT Young Scientist Project “InVigil8” at Scifest as invited guests of Limerick Institute of Technology.

Tony Hartnett received an award in Maths for his project in “Visual Learners + Vedic Maths= Understanding²”. Michael Upton and Kieran Scanlon also received a runner award in technology for their project “Self Sanitising Door Handle”.

Scifest 2012Scifest 2012Scifest 2012


Desmond College students Tom Flavin, Christopher Scannell and John Delee proudly represented the school by joining Ireland’s most innovative students as they exhibited their Wellie Washer idea in the Agriculture Sector of the Agri-Aware, AIB and Bord Bia “GREEN DRAGON INNOVATION CHALLENGE” competition in Croke Park on Saturday 26th March 2011.

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Having made it through early interviews and quick fire questions with one judge, the trio made it through to the finals with a detailed presentation to the judging panel of G Cleary (Glenisk), J Concannon (JFC Manufacturing), Leo Kerley (CrumbRubber) and Michelle Massey (Apprentice Winner 2010), and to the visitors and the general public.

As ever, Tom Flavin’s turn of phrase and Christopher Scannell’s and John Delee’s research and knowledge of their product proved a hit as the trio scooped “Runner up in the Agriculture Category”.

Working under the guidance of teachers, Ms. Corkery and Mr. Byrne they displayed the basis of their project was to promote hygiene and prevent the spread of disease on farms with their motorised “Wellie Washer”.

The portable device allows for the practical removal of organic waste and provides a disinfecting agent that can effectively prevent the spread of pathogenic organisms.

They received individual certificates, a school plaque and prize money to the value of 500 euro well deserved as they displayed that creativity and ingenuity are alive and well in Desmond College.

Well done to all.


Ear to the Ground

The exceptional standards of Desmond College entrants to the 47th BT Young Scientist awards held in the RDS Dublin was once again highlighted this year. Innovative projects, the “Wellie Washer”, the “Alchemiser” and the “Investigation into Tooth Decay” attracted huge attention among the record breaking attendance and the 520 projects on display.

Highlighting innovation in the Agricultural field the “Wellie Washer” project attracted huge interest from RTE’s TV programme, Ear to the Ground, as well as press interest from The Farmers Journal and The Examiner.

The idea was conceived by second year students Tom Flavin, John Delee and Chris Scannell based on their own experience on their family farms.

The group have been praised by Sean Gallagher of “Dragons’ Den” for their ingenuity as the portable footbath cleans and disinfects wellingtons and will be a very useful and practical way to prevent the spread of infection and disease on farms.

Winning highly commended from the judges The National Road Safety Authority were keenly impressed by the “Alchemiser” project designed by David Upton and Darragh McMahon.

Science Teacher, Ms. Corkery explained that they designed the device to prevent the ignition of a car if a person has more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system. With road deaths at an all time high, this device was designed to aid in the reduction of road deaths caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.

Transition Year students Edel Copse and Sarah Enright have dedicated their time to investigate the “Best Treatment for Preventing Tooth Enamel Erosion.” This attracted widespread attention from the public and dental experts. For their project the duo carried out the investigative experiments and analysed the effects of many every day substances on teeth to come up with the best prevention of tooth enamel erosion.

Desmond College would like to congratulate the innovative students, their parents and dedicated teachers for doing themselves and the school proud.