Conor Wins International Award

Conor Wins International Award

(To learn more about Conor Casey's Regeneron ISEF 2021 award winning project click on the LINK)

Irish student achieves global success at international science fair!

~ SciFest finalist Conor Casey wins 2nd Place Award ~

~ Conor Casey from Co. Kerry Wins in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Category at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) ~

24 May 2021 – SciFest finalist, Conor Casey from Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, Co. Kerry represented Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held virtually last week where he claimed a 2nd Place Award in his category, Earth and Environmental Sciences. His success means he brings home a prize of $2,000.

Conor secured his place at the international competition when he won the Runner-up Award at the SciFest 2020 National Final last November. SciFest is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second level students in Ireland. Conor claimed the 2nd Place Award at Regeneron ISEF for his project, “Using AI to Improve Weather Prediction”. Using artificial intelligence Conor developed a model which can produce a forecast of a similar level of accuracy to current models, while doing so with greater efficiency. This would make it cheaper to generate weather forecasts by reducing the amount of resources required.

Regeneron ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, involving over 1,800 students from 64 countries, regions and territories competing for a prize fund totalling $5million. The competition is usually held in the United States but for the second year running this year’s event took place virtually due to COVID-19.

Speaking about attending ISEF, Conor said: “The whole ISEF experience has been absolutely amazing. It was great that the competition got to go ahead virtually, it gave me the opportunity to interact with people from around the world who have done some incredible work across a huge variety of areas. I really enjoyed presenting my project and hearing from world famous scientists who have really encouraged me to develop my love of STEM. I am immensely grateful to everyone at SciFest for this opportunity, as well as all my family and my teacher Ms Abbott, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO commented: “We are all very proud of Conor, he is a great example of the high calibre of entries that SciFest produces. His project demonstrates that great science is really about curiosity, exploration and having an inquisitive spirit. For Conor to represent Ireland at ISEF and to win in his category over other students from all over the world is an impressive achievement not only for him, his teacher and school but for Ireland too, and it shows that there is a very high standard of science being taught in Irish schools. It is important that we nourish this talent and to further encourage the take up of STEM subjects in school.”

Also representing Ireland at Regeneron ISEF 2021 were SciFest finalists Caoimhín O’Leary from Ardscoil na Mara, Tramore, Co. Waterford and Dara Newsome, Conor Bradshaw and David Hughes from Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry. Another SciFest finalist, Eoghan Farren from Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, represented Ireland at the Broadcom MASTERS International which runs in parallel with Regeneron ISEF.

SciFest is free to enter and open to everyone across the island of Ireland, no matter their background, ability or circumstance. The most important thing for SciFest is the participation of students and encouraging their interest in STEM in a fun and engaging way. The SciFest 2021 National Final will take place on the 19th November 2021.

SciFest is funded primarily by Intel and Boston Scientific who have recently been joined by Accenture, Fenergo and Grifols in a growing community of supporters.


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