SciFest STEM Champions 2022

SciFest STEM Champions 2022

Killarney maths team takes top prize at SciFest National Final 2022

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan sixth year students from Killarney Community College, Co. Kerry were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022, for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem and will go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas next year.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest is the largest, most inclusive all-island STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland. SciFest is free to enter and open to everyone across the island of Ireland, no matter their background or circumstances. The most important thing for SciFest is the participation of students and encouraging their interest in STEM in a fun and engaging way.

The National Final, held in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin today, was attended by student finalists from all over Ireland. Liam, Rachel and Luke were presented with the SciFest STEM Champion 2022 Award by Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO. The students secured their place at the National Final after their victory at the SciFest regional final at MTU Kerry.

Pythagoras’ Theorem is a foundational theorem in geometry, with many far-reaching implications in other fields. There are many proofs of Pythagoras’ theorem, from geometry, trigonometry and even using the exponentiation properties of complex numbers. Their project, approached the Pythagorean Theorem through the framework of group theory, exploring the algebraic structures which can be defined within coordinate systems.

This year marks the 17th year of the SciFest programme which saw students participating in local and regional SciFest STEM fairs across the country. Since launching in 2006, more than 90,000 students have participated in the competition, which represents an average year-on-year increase of almost 20% in participation.

Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said: “The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths. As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

A full list of award winners can be viewed here. All finalist's projects can be viewed here.

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