Aaron Hannon Wins at Intel ISEF

Aaron Hannon Wins at Intel ISEF

18 May 2018

SciFest national champion, Aaron Hannon from St Muredach’s College, Ballina represented Ireland at Intel ISEF 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week where he received a first in his category, Embedded Systems. Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, involving some 1,700 students from over 75 countries competing for a prize fund totalling $4million. The SciFest programme is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) , Boston Scientific and Intel Ireland.

Aaron secured his place at the international competition when he won the top award, the Science Foundation Ireland Intel ISEF award, at the SciFest 2017 national final last November. Aaron’s winning project was a device designed to assist people with limited hand dexterity to shave.

The project was inspired by Aaron’s late grandfather who suffered from limited hand dexterity due to a stroke. It is a fully functional device capable of shaving facial hair for people with limited use of their hands. The device is user friendly and was created through technical research to develop the physical, electrical and software aspects. A mannequin head was used to test the device and an android app was designed to allow greater ease of use.

Speaking about attending ISEF, Aaron said: “I was very excited to have the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh and to present my work to some of the top STEM professionals in the world. I really enjoyed meeting young people from all over the world and seeing the different projects that they are working on. This was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and to learn, and I am so thankful to my family, friends, teachers and everyone at SciFest who have supported me up to now.

Sheila Porter, CEO, SciFest commented: “We are all very proud of Aaron and his achievement in receiving a first in his category, Embedded Systems. Participating in Intel ISEF is a wonderful opportunity and I know Aaron has really enjoyed the experience. SciFest is all about encouraging a love of science, technology, engineering and maths among young people. Aaron has developed a truly innovative project and we are delighted that he has had the opportunity to bring it to an international audience. We wish him every success for the future.”

Science Foundation Ireland supports SciFest in its programme of encouraging and engaging young people in STEM. Speaking about Aaron’s award, Margie McCarthy, Interim Director Innovation and Education, Science Foundation Ireland said: “I want to congratulate Aaron on his fantastic achievement in receiving a first in his category, Embedded Systems. His achievement shows how young Irish innovators can compete at a global level. Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support SciFest, as an effective programme in enabling young people to explore the part they play in using science, technology, engineering and maths to create solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. I also congratulate all of the students who take part, for the passion they show and the work they put into these solutions, hopefully wel’l see more of them consider STEM careers in the future.”

SciFest is an all-island STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students. It is free to enter and being locally and regionally based it is both accessible and inclusive.

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