Navan students Katie Rattigan and Hannah Nugent, fifth-year students at Loreto Secondary School, were awarded an Excellence in STEM award, for their project 'Stopping the Shake' at SciFest at the weekend.
Katie and Hannah were inspired by their grandfather, Jim Nugent, who suffers from Parkinson’s. Their device is based on a levelling system based on a ball bearing and can be attached to any type of cup to counter any sudden movement experiences and re-level the cup. They have tested this device and a statistical analysis of multiple tests produced very statistically significant results, showing that it makes a great difference in stopping spillage by those with hand tremors, such as Parkinson’s sufferers.
SciFest is an all-island STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students. The final, held in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin, was also attended by Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills. Now in its tenth year, it is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific.
Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Science Foundation Ireland, presented Katie and Hannah with their prize – an Excellence in STEM Award. Katie and Hannah secured their place at the National Final after their success at the SciFest regional final in Blanchardstown IT.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of SciFest and saw a record number of over 10,000 students participating in local and regional SciFest STEM fairs across the country. Since its inception in 2008, over 50,000 students have participated in the competition, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 23 per cent in participation. Katie and Hannah were among 42 students who went on to exhibit their 26 STEM projects at the national final.