She Blinded Them With Science! (updated!)

We never really knew what Thomas Dolby meant with that synthy hit of his in the 80s, but Julia O’Callaghan’s extraordinary win at the SciFest Science Fair has finally brought it home.  First Year Julia stunned the judges with the coolest science project ever (it was about Super Cooling Liquids) and after the panel of renowned researchers recovered their senses, they awarded her first prize in the  Junior Physical Sciences section.  And as you can see in the pics below, Julia had plenty of Conlethian company at the competition, with Ms. Phelan and Mr. Callaghan having helped prompt and prepare a veritable army of little Prof. Frinks!  Alexis Peers and Eva Stylianides examined Trypophobia  which is not the fear of giving it a go in popular music but the more important ‘fear of small holes’.  Keane Acosta and Sophie Lee titled their project ‘Bubblrific’ which sounds like one of those expensive plastic  ‘crafty’ toys your kids see advertised during Scooby-Doo and will absolutely die for but it is actually a very serious study of the science of bubble blowing.  Daniel Coady, Anthony Steyn and Rory Clarke put their musical talents and knowledge to use- ‘Using Pitch to measure Volume of a liquid in a glass’.  Second Years Max Brennan, Matthew Lynch and Fergal McCullagh got all synaesthesic on us with ‘The Wonderful Taste of Colour’, wondering if colour makes a difference to taste (and we have to say their presentation was both sweet and savoury). And, old pro at science fairs, Stephen Rockett dared to rhyme at a STEM gathering, titling his project  ‘Perception Deception’:  we noticed the judges lingered long over this one!  Ms. Phelan noticed that not only did all the students perform top-notch science but they also demonstrated great ability to communicate their ideas to the judges.  So, well done to their English teachers, too!


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Stephen Rockett’s eye-witness report:

Scifest is a national competition for second-level students in science, technology, engineering and maths. This year St Conleth’s was represented by no less than 11 students from first and second year across individual and group competitions.
We exhibited our projects at the Helix, DCU, and the judges visited each of our stands and spoke to us. I enjoyed explaining my project, which was about subliminally influencing people, and though three of the judges were very enthusiastic, one of them didn’t really get it. Although I didn’t get a prize in my section (junior life science) this year, I was delighted that Julia O’Callaghan from first year won the junior physical sciences section.
After lunch (of free sandwiches) there were a number of presentations given by different scientists. The woman who spoke about being a chemist was particularly interesting, such that I think I might pursue a career in chemistry. It was a great day and a big thanks to Ms Phelan and Mr Callaghan.