GALLERY

Heywood Community School in Laois holds first SciFest

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Laois school science event features studies on school bacteria, water quality and student learning methods, among 18 interesting projects

The Transition Year students at Heywood Community School in Laois took on their own science projects this year for SciFest, and they did it with enthusiasm.

In all 18 projects were displayed at the school's final on Thursday May 18. The topics for investigation were varied: including studies on water, local habitats, bacteria, a bleach lightbulb, and the best angle to hit a sliotar.

“We have had successes in the Young Scientists competition, but not many can qualify, so SciFest is the way to go,” said Aodhagan O Suilleabhan a teacher at the school in Ballinakill.

It was a compulsory project for the TYs, who enjoyed the freedom of choosing their own study and carrying out their own experiments.

The winner with an impressive study on “The McGurk Effect” was the team of Arianna Mezzapelle, Eva Fitzpatrick and Stephen Thompson, who also won the Display Award.

They had tested individual students and found out if they learned best by audio, visual or tactile means.

“It can help first years to find the best study method for them,” said Arianna.
Their project goes on to the regional SciFest final.
In second place was "Water you drinking?" by Michael Bergin, Ellen McWey and Thomas Fitzpatrick, who made a simple water filter from stones, and have organised a 6k water carrying walk for TYs, in aid of the developing world charity Aidlink.
In third place with "Effect of double dipping on bacterial growth in Salsa" were Caoimhe Murphy, Cian Coss and Odhran Delahunty.
Highly commended were Katie Clerkin and Emma Foley with "The effect of music genres on different genders and age groups".
Best Communicator Maks Gronowski from project entitled "Water filtration".
Anne Lynch, co-ordinator with SciFest, was one of four judges on the day.
“I am really very pleased with the standard of projects, and their communiciation skills, they are very polite and very interested in their projects. This is what SciFestis all about, inclusivity, students taking ownership of their