Minister Lenihan Announces Winner of School Science Essay Competition

Friday, 15 January 2010

Monaghan Secondary School Scoops Science Essay Competition for Second Consecutive Year
Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan T.D., has today announced the winner of the All-Ireland Science Essay Competition, organised by the Science Foundation Ireland-funded 'Regenerative Medicine Institute' (REMEDI), based at NUI Galway. Visiting the Science Foundation Ireland stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Minister Lenihan presented first prize in the Essay Competition to Lisa Duffy of Castleblayney College, Co. Monaghan. Lisa, a fifth-year student, received a trophy, high-spec laptop and a €500 science bursary for her school from Minister Lenihan. This is the second consecutive year that a student from Castleblayney College has taken first prize in the competition. In making the presentation, Minister Lenihan said: "For the past five years, the REMEDI Science Essay Competition has invited young people to express their views on modern-day scientific challenges, and has sought to encourage students to consider pursuing science and engineering-related studies at third-level". The Minister added, "The theme of this year's competition – "Are people's DNA sequences their business and nobody else's?" – generated considerable interest in schools nationwide, with over 100 essays received from around the country. I welcome initiatives such as this in their drive to foster a greater awareness of science and its impact in our daily lives". The Minister added "The Government places great emphasis on the importance of science to Ireland in an educational, social and economic context and, through a number of channels, continues to prioritise science-related disciplines from primary through to fourth-level education." Scientific Director of REMEDI, Professor Frank Barry commented: "One of the important requirements for a successful career in science is an ability to communicate scientific ideas, debate important questions and report research findings in a clear and unambiguous way. The quality and originality of the winning essays in this competition are very impressive and I congratulate all the students who participated". Dr Mark Foley, Vice-Dean for Communication and Strategy in the College of Science and Lecturer in the School of Physics, at NUI Galway remarks: "The College of Science was delighted to come on board this year to support the REMEDI Annual Science Essay Competition. I am extremely encouraged by the quantity and quality of submissions which showcases the continued interest in Science at Secondary level. I hope that participation in science programmes at third-level continues to grow in the coming years and that these students will be key to the success of Ireland's Smart Economy". >center>-Ends-

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