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  • St Killian’s win Young Scientist of the Year awards

    Beating off stiff competition from a total of 29 Northern Ireland finalists St Killian’s College has won three awards at the BT Young Scientist competition in Dublin including ‘Best Northern Ireland School Award’ sponsored by MATRIX, ‘Northern Ireland Best Project award’ sponsored by BT and 2nd– Senior Group award for their project ‘Time compressed transport tester.’ Leah Cosgrove, Eimhear Carey and Rachael O’Boyle, under the supervision of Mr Sean Connolly, started working in partnership with Camlin Technologies for a Gold Crest Award last year and they were asked to design a device to simulate transportation so that each product could be tested for transport damage before it leaves the factory. They have designed a vibration table using Mild Steel box section and Aluminium tread plate and programmed a Zelio PLC to produce the appropriate transport frequencies between 0 – 20 Hz. This would operate pneumatic cylinders to produce the desired vibrations. They have carried out tests using an accelerometer to see if the frequencies produced were correct and if there was suitable displacement that would simulate the correct conditions experienced by a product during transport. They then carried out further research and tests to produce a Time Compressed Transport Tester. By increasing the pressure to the pneumatic cylinders they were able to show that the intensity of the test is increased and they have worked out how much the test time can be reduced because of this. Therefore for a journey time of 1 hour the test would only need to be carried out for a few minutes. After initially having their project approved for entry last summer, Mr Connolly and Miss Mallon accompanied Eimhear and Rachael (Leah was away skiing) to the Young Scientists of the Year exhibition in Dublin last week and the project was well received throughout the week with many people tipping it for one of the major prizes. The prizes were announced on Friday evening with St Killian’s College on stage three times.We also had a project in the Junior competition and again it was well received and excellently presented by Year 11 students Murray Emerson and Niall Black. Again with help and guidance from Mr Connolly, the boys designed and made a small cheap, portable, programmable WiFi camera that can stream video over a distance of up to 30m. This then can be picked up by any small portable WiFi device such as a smart phone, Ipad or laptop etc. without any internet connection. Mr Brady, Prinicipal of St Killian’s, offered his congratulations to Mr Connolly and the five students. “St Killian’s has been a constant attendee at the BTYS exhibition since we opened in 2010. To achieve one accolade is superb. However both teams and Mr Sean Connolly have won three, including best project and best school from NI. A fantastic achievement and one thoroughly deserved. “I want to congratulate the two teams and Mr Connolly; the hard work, dedication and commitment has paid off. St Killian’s is very proud of you!”