BD STEM Stars finalists from 2021 Aoife Lee and Emma Brennan, Desmond College, Newcastlewest with their winning project, ‘Exercise is Key’. Picture: Alan Place.
Five Mid-West schools will go head-to-head for a €10,000 first prize
Four Limerick schools are in with a shot of landing one of the largest schools’ competition prize-funds in the Mid-West after making it into a shortlist of five for the BD STEM Stars 2022 Awards final next week (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).
Outgoing champions Desmond College, Newcastle West, inaugural competition winners Thomond Community College, Salesian Secondary School, Pallaskenry and Coláiste Nano Nagle, Sexton St will join the only shortlisted school from outside Limerick, Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed, Thurles in the final at the BD Research Centre Ireland (RCI) facility at the National Technology Park on Thursday, May 12. This is the third BD STEM Stars Awards and the first in-person event since the outbreak of COVID.
The finalists will demonstrate their projects to the judges on the day and will hear from BD RCI’s Site Director Padraig Fitzgerald. They will also get a tour of the cutting-edge labs in the high-tech facility before the winners are announced.
The outright winner of the competition will receive a €10,000 prize to go towards supporting STEM education as well as the STEM Stars trophy. The second-placed school will receive a €6,000 cheque, with €4,000 for third place. Commendation awards of €1,000 each go to BD STEM Stars finalists.
The high quality and diversity of projects developed by the finalists augurs well for the future availability of STEM talent in the region. Salesian Secondary School in Pallaskenry have carried out an investigation into the use of external electrical stimulation in the treatment and management of Reynaud’s disease; Desmond College, Newcastlewest are putting forward a wearable early warning system to alert children and their parents of UV rays that cause skin cancer; Thomond Community College are exploring how to reduce incidents of concussion in high impact sports; Coláiste Nano Nagle have developed an accessibility app for visually impaired people that allows them shop independently, while Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed in Thurles have created an app that helps to manage diabetes including a feature for students to contact a teacher if having a hypo or hypoglycemic episode.
Looking ahead to the final, Mr Fitzgerald said: “The BD STEM Stars 2022 competition is something we have a great passion for here in BD, not alone because it supports one of our key objectives in raising awareness of and participation levels in STEM, it has also been hugely encouraging for us to see the energy that the schools and students invest in their projects. We’ve been so impressed with the project ideas coming through, the excitement among students for the work and the desire to know more. But above all, it’s the recognition that through the application of STEM, unmet needs in healthcare can be addressed and witnessing the desire of the students to play a part in that is a very positive outcome for us.”
About BD STEM Stars
BD STEM Stars is an initiative from BD Research Centre Ireland that aims to promote participation amongst second-level students in STEM subjects and demonstrate how their learnings can be applied to solving real-life health issues. Now in its third year, the initiative is open to all secondary schools in Limerick, Tipperary & Clare. In the first year, the winning team from Thomond Community College explored the use of blue light therapy to alleviate stress at school. Runner up prizes were awarded to Gaeilscolaiste Luimnigh and Desmond College.
For more stories on BD STEM Stars, go HERE
For more information about BD STEM Stars, go HERE