Saturday, 16 May 2015

Drogheda Young Innovators 2015

Today's post details the second exciting event that happened yesterday - you can read about the first (school Prizegiving) here. 

Drogheda Young Innovators is a competition in its second year that showcases the town's young scientists, entrepreneurs and bringers of social change. I entered last year and won my category. This year, the four of us who exhibited at the Young Scientist in January brought our projects.

We were told that we'd won our sections before we even got there; Niamh won the Social section, Orla and Neasa won the Group Science section and I won the Individual Science section. So we were there for talks and to see who scooped the overall prize. Anna did last year.

Speaking of Anna, I was told yesterday at assembly by the principal that Anna won a special award from Monsanto at Intel ISEF (global science fair). She also won 2nd in the Plant Science category. It's amazing, and we're very proud.

Anyway, off we went with Ms. Savage as soon as Prizegiving ended. The event was just down the road in the Mill, so that was grand. DYI is run by various people, including Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific (where I did two weeks of work experience in February last year). 

We were welcomed and given a speech by Conor Nolan, CEO and co-founder of startup WattSpot, so that was cool. I found his speech very interesting and asked a lot of questions afterwards.

Then (surprise!) we had to get up and give two-minute presentations on our projects. I was one of the last, and I did try to express it simply but everyone said they still didn't understand it but that I sounded clever. A judge said that to me later actually, saying he just had to trust I was telling the truth because he couldn't tell (that same judge later repeatedly asked me had I had any commercial interest in my project, which was concerning).

Then there were prizes. We all went up to get our certificates for winning categories, and finally the Overall Winner was announced. I do this trick to avoid being disappointed at awards ceremonies, where I force my brain to hope a certain other project wins, so I did that. It was great, though, because I won! Overall Winner of Drogheda Young Innovators 2015 right here.

So that was great, obviously, and also gives me some hope. I had worried they wouldn't give me the award when Anna (someone in the exact same category as me) got it last year, but they did, so hopefully that bodes well for Sentinus. Don't need to be competing with Anna when she's not even there. In case you couldn't tell, I really really want to win Sentinus. It's a great competition and, of course, there's ISEF.

We then had photoshoots and some snacks, and the principal drove us back to the school. She said the school was proud of us or something to that effect, which was nice.

I love my trophy, although sadly it's perpetual so I'll have to give it back next year. Oh well. 

That concludes my coverage of yesterday. Apart from a momentary blip where there was more inexplicable blog controversy, great day. 

Some of these photos are mine, some were taken by photographers and found on the competition's social media pages. If you know the photographers' names, let me know and I'll credit them. 

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