Irish student brings home the gold at international science and technology fair

Ruth Madden
SciFest winner Ruth Madden

SciFest winner Ruth Madden takes top prize at Hong Kong Global Youth Science & Technology Bowl



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5 August 2020 | 0

SciFest THEA award winner Ruth Madden from Largy College, in Clones, Co Monaghan represented Ireland and SciFest in the virtual Hong Kong Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl (GYSTB) 2020 last week and claimed a Gold Award for her project The Microplastic Filter – A Small Solution to a Global Problem.

Recognising the prevalence and impact of plastic in our environment as a matter of growing domestic and international concern Ruth’s project focussed on reducing the volume of microplastics entering the environment through wastewater from domestic washing machines. Ruth’s aim was to design and construct a permanent, cost efficient, low maintenance filtration unit capable of intercepting microplastics in wastewater. After several redesigns and prototypes Ruth’s final filtration unit is capable of intercepting microplastics as small as 0.1 mm/100 microns and can be retrofitted to existing standard domestic wastewater infrastructure. Ruth has continued to develop her project since her win at the SciFest National Final in Association with Science Foundation Ireland.

Speaking about her Award, Ruth said: “The Award does not just recognise my efforts, but is an acknowledgement of the essential support and encouragement given and shown to me by, not only my family, but by the principal and staff of Largy College and in particular, Ms. Colette Smith, my science teacher, whose never ending enthusiasm and willingness to help was crucial to my success during the difficult academic environment which arose from Covid-19. It would be remiss of me not to also express my sincere thanks to Science Foundation Ireland and SciFest who through their unbelievable support, afforded me this wonderful opportunity.”




Sheila Porter, SciFest founder and CEO said: “Winning this award is a great achievement and we are so proud of Ruth. She continued to work on her project after the SciFest National Final and when we were invited to select three projects by the GYSTB we had no hesitation in selecting Ruth’s as one of the three. She has developed a truly innovative project and we are delighted that she had the opportunity to compete on the international stage. Well done also to Timothy and Alice on their awards. We wish Ruth, Timothy and Alice every success for the future.”

SciFest is an all-island STEM initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students. It is free to enter and being locally and regionally based it is both accessible and inclusive and is funded primarily by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Boston Scientific, Intel Ireland and Specsavers.

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