Cork student picks up Intel sponsored prize of trip to NASA and Silicon Valley

A young woman from Listowel, Co Kerry, Eimear Donovan, has been named as the winner of the Intel sponsored top prize which was up for grabs for one of the young entrants who voted for one of the shortlisted candidates as part of ‘Ireland’s Greatest Woman Inventor’ competition which leading technology website Silicon Republic, has been running throughout the summer.

The top prize is a trip for the winner, plus 2 companions, to the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, a visit to Intel Museum in Silicon Valley, California, and two days in San Francisco, California.

Silicon Republic spoke to Eimear as she was presented with her prize – click here for the full article

Sixteen-year-old Eimear is a science enthusiast and studies biology, chemistry and ag-science at secondary school in Listowel. She admits her mum, Mary, a science teacher, may have had some influence on that passion.

“Mum always had lots of science books in the house, and has always brought me to science exhibitions,” Eimear told us. Indeed, as we sit in the Science Gallery in Dublin for a chat, she tells us her mum has brought to her exhibitions there in the past.

While conceding that chemistry is “quite hard”, she tells us she still really loves it. She’s not altogether sure which discipline of science she will pursue to third level, but she has podiatry in her sights. That, she says, might well change and she is keeping an open mind about the future. Her delighted mother Mary points out that Eimear is also great at English (her dad, Louis, is a teacher of history and English), and her varied subject choice means she has a variety of avenues to follow in the future.

The competition

The ‘Ireland’s Greatest Woman Inventor’ competition ran over the summer months and gave entrants the chance to vote for their favorite female inventor from a list of 10 Irish women who have made a pioneering mark in science, engineering, maths and technology. The list of finalists for which people could vote was: Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Lilian Bland, Agnes Clerke, Phyllis Clinch, Margaret Lindsay Huggins, Cynthia Longfield, Kathleen Lonsdale, Annie Maunder, Dorothy Stopford Price, and Alicia Boole Stott.

The result of the vote was close run between the two top contenders, with Dorothy Stopford Price eventually winning out. You can read all about this remarkable pioneering scientist here. Kay McNulty, Ireland’s first woman programmer, came a close second.

The competition was open to 12-18-year-old residents of the Republic of Ireland, and the prize was presented to Eimear on Saturday September 14th at the Science Gallery in Dublin by Brendan Cannon who is the EMEA co-ordinator of Intel’s Girls and Women initiative. Brendan was joined by representatives of the other Women Invent Tomorrow partners: Brid Horan of ESB, Marian Corcoran of Accenture, Eucharia Meehan of the Irish Research Council and Noel King of CoderDojo.

Eimear and 2 companions will now travel to the US during mid-term break in February 2014, and they are both very excited about the “amazing” trip, they tell us.

There were prizes for runners-up, too, courtesy of Microsoft. A Microsoft Surface RT tablet computer went to Dairine Morgan of Monaghan, while a Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone went to Roisin Sweeney of Naas, Co Kildare.

The Women Invent Tomorrow initiative is championing the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths – to find out more click here.

Women Invent prize giving Main pic.jpg
At the Science Gallery in Dublin, Brendan Cannon of Intel presents the prize to Eimear Donovan with (left to right) Noel King of CoderDojo and Marian Corcoran of Accenture. Back row: Brid Horan of ESB, Ann O’ Dea of Silicon Republic, and Eucharia Meehan of the Irish Research Council

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