01 Oct 2022

Timahoe National School in Laois has produced this year's crop of Intel Mini Scientists

The students of Scoil Mhuire Fatima, Timahoe once again proved they are the scientists of tomorrow when they held their annual Intel mini science fair recently. This event has become a huge part of the Timahoe NS Calendar due to the enormous success in the national final, enjoyed by the school. The school has won two All Ireland finals in recent years as well as a runner up prize last year.

This year’s overall winners Jack Hyland and David Duggan, from 6th class, will now go on to represent the school at regional and hopefully All Ireland level. The boys’ project was called 'Can we absorb kinetic energy in a greener way?' and consisted of an alternative type of wind turbine. The boys designed and created a model of a turbine that would have less of a visual impact on the countryside.

The standard of science project on view was incredibly high and reflected the enthusiasm for science that exists within the school. The projects completed by 4th, 5th and 6th classes covered a broad range of topics including food science, health and well-being, sports science, research, bacteria, technology and engineering.

Runners up awards went to Niamh Doyle for 'Freaky Fibrosis' and to PJ Daly, Pauric Ramsbottom, Liam Daly and Luke Devitt for 'Clean up your cash or you might get a rash‘.

There were also a number of award winners in the steAm, display, product innovation and the appliance of science categories. (see full list below)

The prizes winners were only part of the story though as all the children produced amazing work including  ‘Eye Eaters’ by Rebekah O’Mahony, Rachel Mangan and Caoimhe Ramsbottom investigated how sight can affect taste while ‘No Pain All Game’ by Colm Buggy and Callum Maher tested whether or not playing video games could relieve pain. 'Avoid a dirty scene, keep this T-shirt clean' by Sophie Mai Mc Donald, Sophie Phelan and Gracie Coyne examined the effectiveness of different washing powders.

'Cats v Dogs….which pet is better?' by John Hanley, Jack Mangan, Gary Brennan and Maebh Hogan O Donnell sparked a lot of debate among the viewers while David Galwey, Oscar Farrell and Barry Grouse added a musical dimension to the exhibition with their project called 'How can music affect your life?'. 

Odhran Maher, Alan Bennett and Rhys Kelly had tummies rumbling when they presented their project 'Mc Donalds v Supermacs'. Their project examined which fast food outlet produced the 'healthiest food'! Emma Rouget and Kate O'Connell did a fantastic research experiment on 'How energy drinks affect your health'. As with the fast food project, the results and conclusions were jaw dropping! These projects are just an example of the diversity on display.

Intel Adjudicator Anne Tilson was left with a major headache as she somehow had to pick a winner from what she described as “an astonishingly high standard of competition”. She praised the children for their efforts and encouraged the younger children to develop their ideas for next year’s competition.

Deputy Principal, Martina Mulhall was delighted with the exhibition which she described as an “amazing centre of science, tech and innovation”. She told the children that they had once again “exceeded expectations” and thanked parents for their “constant support and encouragement”.

The event was well attended by parents, grandparents and friends and there was a real sense of pride on show as the confident students presented their projects to the excited onlookers. All roads now lead to Leixlip for the regional finals at the beginning of December.

List of Award Winners:

Overall Winner: 'Can we absorb kinetic energy in a greener way?' - Jack Hyland, David Duggan.

Joint Runners-Up: 'Freaky Fibrosis' - Niamh Doyle.

'Clean up your cash or you might get a rash‘-  PJ Daly, Pauric Ramsbottom, Liam Daly, Luke Devitt.


SteAm award - 'How and why jellyfish sting?' - Maggie Kavanagh, Sandra Carroll, Julia Krawczyk.

Appliance of Science Award - 'Fizzy Lab' - Karen Doyle, Ava Kelly, Grace Ramsbottom.

Display Award - 'What can affect the ozone layer?' - Raiyyan Omer.

Display Award - 'Ready, Steady, GO' - Aisling Ramsbottom, Meabh Mc Grath.

Display Award - 'Are you eating your vocal chords away?' - Anna Duff, Emma Killeen, Laura Miller

Product Innovation Award - 'Healthy earth, remove the dirt' - Mairéad Foyle, Sarah Doyle

Certificates: all students from 4th, 5th and 6th classes.

Scroll through our images, supplied by the school.

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