Mayo student wins SciFest 2017 with assisted shaving device

SciFest 2017 overall winner Aaron Hannon
SciFest 2017 overall winner Aaron Hannon

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10 November 2017 | 0

Aaron Hannon from St Muredach’s College, Ballina, Co. Mayo was today named overall winner of SciFest 2017 for his project EnableArm – a shaving device for people with limited hand dexterity.

Hannon will go on to represent Ireland at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh next year.

EnableArm was inspired by Aaron’s late grandfather who suffered from limited hand dexterity due to a stroke. A mannequin head was used to test the device and an android app was designed to allow greater ease of use.

A total of 42 regional winners attended the finals, which took place today in Marino, Dublin.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of SciFest and saw a record number of over 10,000 students participating in local and regional SciFest STEM fairs across the country. Since its inception in 2008, over 50,000 students have participated in the competition, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 23% in participation.

Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said: “This year is the 10-year anniversary of SciFest and it is wonderful to see the level of talent, enthusiasm and determination on display today. The aim of SciFest is to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning. Those values are very much evident here today, with students from around the country demonstrating the incredible work that they have put into their projects and experiments.

“Previous entrants have gone on to develop their projects and become leaders in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, information technology and many other fields. I am really excited as to what the next 10 years will bring.”

Other award winners were Jack Nagle for his project on tractor safety; Adam Kelly for his project on whether beet can beat other cattle feeds; Omar Salem for work on protecting aircraft from foreign object damage; Shannon McHugh and Ciara Keaveney for showing the benefits of turf and wood ashes as fertilisers; and Thomas Curtin and Dylan Moloney for their height-adjustable crutch.

SciFest is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific.

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