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Minister Praises NUI Galway Science Essay Competition

February 2nd 2008

Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin, received top prize in the 2008 REMEDI-Medtronic science essay competition.

Catherine, who won a laptop, trophy and €500 science bursary for her school, received her prizes from the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin T.D., on the Science Foundation Ireland booth at the BT Young Scientist festival.

The runner up prize of a video iPOD, trophy and €250 school science bursary went to Leaving Cert student Aidan Rowe of St Gerald’s College, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Presenting the prizes for the third successive year, Minister Hanafin said: “Increasingly we are all aware of the vital role of science and technology in our lives. We are aware too, of the extent to which it will impact upon our future economic development. Competitions like the national science essay competition have an important role in raising the profile of science among young people.

As students complete their CAO forms, it is important that we all encourage them to consider the vast range of exciting career opportunities in the fields of science and technology - from playstations to mutations, from bionics to photonics! I would like to congratulate all of the students who took part in the competition on their hard work and on the very high standard of research and writing. This level of dedication and expertise gives me great hope for the future of Irish science.”

Catherine Duane’s essay was selected from a top-ten shortlist by a high profile panel of judges who met at REMEDI in November 2007 to choose a winner. The judges included: Leo Enright (Chair of the Discover Science & Engineering Steering Committee); Tom Kennedy (Editor of Science Spin Magazine); Prof Frank Barry (Scientific Director, REMEDI); Noreen Moloney (Medtronic); and Cormac Sheridan (Freelance Science Journalist). Commenting on Catherine’s essay, competition judge Cormac Sheridan said: “Catherine's essay is a very polished piece of work. The writing is crisp and to the point, she handles the argument with great confidence, and it's superbly structured.”

Organised as part of a joint REMEDI and NCBES secondary school outreach programme called GRO (Galway Regional Outreach), the aim of the competition is to hear young people’s views on contemporary scientific questions and to encourage students to consider studying science in third level. You can read the winning essays and learn more about the competition in our Education section.