The SciFest National Final 2013 – SciFest@SFI Discover - took place in the Science Gallery, Trinity College, on Friday 22 November.The overall winners from each of the 15 regional SciFest science fairs exhibited their projects and competed for the top award - a trophy and an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to represent Ireland in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair(ISEF) on 11-16 May 2014. The winning student was Paul Clarke from St Paul's College, Raheny, Dublin. Paul will be accompanied to Los Angeles by his teacher/mentor Dr Brian Smith. Paul won the top award - the SFI Discover Award - at SciFest@College in the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown, in May. Congratulations to Paul on his in-depth study of Hamiltonian cycles in graph theory.

This year two additional awards were presented at the SciFest national final. One of these went to the highest scoring project in the Intermediate or Senior Physical Sciences and Technology categories, excluding the overall winner. The award went to Conor Foy from Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, Co. Limerick. Conor's prize is an all-expeses-paid trip to the Long Night of Science in Berlin next May. Conor will be accompanied by his teacher/mentor whose expenses will also be paid. Congratulations to Conor for an ingenious project on improving the timing among crew in a rowing boat.

The second of the additional awards at this year's final went to the second highes scoring project overall, excluding the Long Night of Science Award. The prize, the Irish Science Teachers' Association STEM trophy, went to Conor Begley from Coláiste Rís in Dundalk. Congratulations to Conor for his project designed to improve safey on farms by giving early warning of dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide.

Each of the 15 finalists was presented with an Excellence in STEM award. Details of the finalists and their projects are given below. Their project abstracts can be accessed here.

A further innovation at this year's final was an exhibition of the top three chemistry projects from the regional fairs. The three top projects were selected by an expert panel of SciFest judges. At the national final the top chemistry project was announced and the prize went to Michaela van der Walt and Ailish Breathnach from Domincan College, Taylor's Hill in Galway. The girls' prize consisted of a trophy and  €60 in one4all vouchers. This award was sponsored by Pharmachemical Ireland. As a further part of their prize the girls' school received a set of equipment for the chemistry lab presented by Lennox Educational.Congratulations to Michaela and Ailish for their project on trihalomethanes in drinking water.



The SciFest 2013 National Finalists

Inst of Technology/ Venue




Project Title


St Mary's Secondary School, Edenderry, Co. Offaly

Mary Farrell

Robert O'Reilly, Triona Walsh

A Boat ….. Float?


St Paul's College, Raheny, Dublin 5

Dr Brian Smyth

Paul Clarke

Enumerating Hamiltonian Cycles in formal graph theory


Avondale Community College, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow

Aoife Sullivan

David Fleming, Conor Windsor

The calving alarm


Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney, Co. Cork

Sean Foley

Lisa Higgins

Travel safe


Lumen Christi College, Bishop Street, Derry, BT48 6UJ

Mildred Gill

Donna Harkin, Sinead Harkin

Supercool physics


Skerries Community College, Skerries, Co Dublin

Katie Corbett

Tom Mc Donald

Coastal erosion in Skerries


Coláiste Rís, Chapel St, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Evan Markey

Conor Begley

Early warning of concentrated hygrogen sulfide gas 


Dominican College, Taylor's Hill, Galway

Aoife Fallon

Etornam Glavee, Kíla Vallely, Anna Illyuk

Mussels as an indicator of water quality


Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

Caitriona O'Donnell

Dallaire Daily, Sara Ward, Brenna Daily

How music affects your physical performance


Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, Co. Limerick

Edel Farrell

Conor Foy

To design and manufacture a device to improve the timing among crew in a rowing boat


Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo

Helena Ryder

Eamonn Sweeney

Investigating the effects of a metronome, delivered by a mobile phone speaker on CPR quality and attitudes towards delivering CPR in untrained bystanders


Sutton Park School, St Fintan's Road, Sutton, Dublin 13

Catherine Tattersall

David Joyce, Cherie O'Keeffe, Wuraola Arisekola

Using Lenz's law to improve mountain road safety


Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Áine Fahy

Rachel Byrne, Aoife Ryan 

Amplitute of accommodation of students' eyes


Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Mary Enright

T Darragh Clark, Colin McDaid, Diarmuid O Connor

The anaesthetic effect of natural plant oils on goldfish


Blackwater Community School, Lismore, Co. Waterford

David King

Elaine Looby

Biofuel production from lignocellulosic compounds - the Irish story