‘At SciFest, we felt like scientists.’

Janet Williams Oshun from St Mary’s College in Arklow reflects on her experience of SciFest in Transition Year
‘At SciFest, we felt like scientists.’

Having participated in SciFest@College 2018 in Waterford Institute of Technology our experience of it was very good and extremely positive. The venue was excellent and very well run. The judges were very enthusiastic, understanding and patient, but also showed genuine interest in our projects. They also provided us with guidance and ways in which we could improve our project in its later stages. We really enjoyed the whole process of collecting data, carrying out experiments and then creating posters and booklets from all of the data obtained.

We really weren’t expecting there to be as many projects on display, but we instantly made friends with the people near our stand. From this experience some of us had learned more about ourselves than imaginable.

During this experience I have learned a lot, not only about science but about myself and my fellow classmates. I found being around people my age who also have an interest in science, truly made me proud to have chosen Science as one my TY modules. I wish I could’ve participated in this at a younger age.

My experience at SciFest was productively chaotic. One minute I was frustrated, the next I was over the moon. I walked into this classroom knowing absolutely nothing about science, especially since I didn’t do it for my Junior Certificate. I joined my friend’s project about something I had never heard about before and was starting to worry about what we would be doing for the year. Surprisingly, though through many breakdowns and mistakes our project went well. I was nervous to present it at SciFest@WIT because the only practice I had at presenting was with my class, filled with people I knew at our SciFest@School last March. Thankfully the judges were very friendly and easy to talk to. I’m very proud of myself and what I can accomplish and because of this I now have the confidence to choose biology as one of my Leaving Certificate subjects. If the opportunity arose I would definitely participate in SciFest again.

That being said, all of us had our own crazy journeys to produce our completed projects. We can now collectively agree that science works in a weird and magical way and we saw this when, at first many of our results didn’t work and we wanted to give up. However, we still got back up and kept going by figuring out a new way to get what we wanted and fix our mistakes. While some of us won an award at the WIT SciFest, without a doubt we all reaped the reward of dedication and persistence. In all, we loved it and although it brought us on an emotional roller coaster, we would certainly do it again any day.

To conclude, we would like to commend the staff, professors, students, judges and organisers for putting together such a wonderful event. This experience can be described as unforgettable and one that will certainly benefit us in the future. We appreciate events like this because it gives students like us a chance to gain a wide range of new skills that can be applied later in our lives. We are very grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity and participating in SciFest@WIT was well worth it. At SciFest, we felt like scientists.

Janet Williams Oshun, St Mary’s College, Arklow

May 2018

Note:

Janet Williams Oshun and her partner Aleksandra Gramiak were awarded the Abbott Runner-up Best Project Award for their project, ‘Testing the effectiveness of market batteries against our Ecological Houseplant Battery’ at SciFest@WIT 2018

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