Congratulations to first year students; Anna Flynn, Annie Condon and Katelyn Dinneen who won the Irish Science Teachers Association Award in Scifest last Friday 22nd April. The award was for the best Junior Life Science Project in Cork County. The title of the project was “A Survey of the extent of Japanese Knotweed invasion in our local area and a campaign to raise awareness in our community”. Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed) is a large invasive plant that was introduced to Ireland about 20 years ago. It is a very robust plant and is out-competing many of our native hedgerow and woodland plants.
The students heard a report on RTE’s “Mooney Goes Wild” describing the problems associated with this invasive plant and that at present it is predominantly a problem in Cork and Kerry and so, they decided to make it the subject of their SciFest project. The students have worked extremely hard since September on this project, by carrying out surveys, site analysis, radio and TV broadcasts as well as presenting at BT Young Scientist.
In addition, Chemistry teacher Dr. Elaine Galvin was awarded the Janseen Pharmaceutical Award Teacher of the Best Life Science Projects Award. Dr. Galvin had 5 projects entered in the Life Science category including projects from 1st year, 2nd year, 4th year and 5th year. The five projects were all very different with investigations in the areas of Cancer Research, Education Psychology and Environmental Awareness