Irish President receives pupils from Timahoe National School, winners of the Intel Mini Scientist competition

Yesterday, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, welcomed pupils from Timahoe National School in Co. Laois who were the overall winners of the Intel Mini Scientist Competition in both 2015 and in 2016.

In welcoming the pupils to Áras an Uachtaráin, President Higgins paid tribute to the school and its teachers for giving the pupils the necessary encouragement, support and practical assistance. The President said that “there is no more important lesson to be learned in school than the importance of discovering new ideas, discovering new questions.”

Laura Miller, Sinéad Buggy, Róisín Dunne and Jamie Boyle are pictured with Irish President Michael D. Higgins
Laura Miller, Sinéad Buggy, Róisín Dunne and Jamie Boyle are pictured with Irish President Michael D. Higgins

The reception at Áras an Uachtaráin to celebrate the Mini Scientist winners comes as the Timahoe primary school scooped the top prize at the nationwide competition for the second time this year.

The 2016 prize was won by 6th class students Laura Miller and Sinéad Buggy, who are both aged 12, and developed a project entitled ‘Game Changer – Leaping Labradors’ which involved the creation of a digital game for visually impaired children. The girls conducted extensive research amongst a number of interest groups before embarking on the design of their video game ‘Leaping Labradors’. The game is a typical platform game with the aim of reaching the highest possible level whole collecting points along the way. The game is specifically designed for visually impaired players.

The 2015 prize was won by 4th class students Jamie Boyle and Róisín Dunne, who were both aged 10 at the time and developed a project entitled ‘What Lurks Within’ which involved an investigation to discover if there are dangerous bacteria contained within a mascara tube and how such bacteria can affect a user’s eye. The girls conducted experiments to examine the bacterial impact and then conducted a social aspect of their project in which they sought to change behaviors to eliminate the use of contaminated tube.

About the Intel Mini Scientist
The Intel Mini Scientist Exhibition is a competition for Primary school students in which they develop science related projects which are then exhibited at fairs held within their own schools. Winning projects selected at this school level exhibition then go on to take part in the Mini Scientist Regional finals before the culmination of the program in a National Grand Final event. As part of the school exhibitions Intel employees will visit the participating schools as judges.

The competition invites students to work either individually or in groups of up to 4 people to develop science projects that are based on a visual display and a project book. The competition, which is open to 4th, 5th and 6th class students, supports the Primary Science curriculum and is a great way to encourage enthusiasm and practical learning in the area of science.

The Mini Scientist is open to schools all across Ireland and there is no minimum number of students required for a school to participate. If you would like to register your school to take part in Mini Scientist 2016 please visit and use the link provided to register your interest in the competition.

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