Dublin students scoop top prize at the Intel Mini Scientist

Lucy Maher, Natasha Nangle, Amálie O'Ríordáin, Mackenzie Gorman from Alexandra College Junior School picked up the top award for their Hydroelectricity project



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Click to view all of the photos from the Leinster Regional Final.

On February 22nd, students from across Ireland took part in the Intel Mini Scientist Grand Final, an event which is the culmination of a nationwide competition that kicked off in September 2022.

The Intel Mini Scientist, which is now in its 16th year, gives primary school students from 4th, 5th and 6th class, the chance to explore science through project-based learning and exhibitions.

This year the Mini Scientist competition returned to its usual in person style for the first time since 2020. Students first completed science projects within their own schools and held exhibitions whereby Intel judges visited each school to select one project to go forward to a regional final in either Shannon, Cork or TU Dublin Blanchardstown. At the regional finals a panel of Intel judges selected a number of winners to attend this year’s Mini Scientist Grand Final.

The Grand Final event was held at Maynooth University and was hosted by Phil Smyth, from RTÉ’s Home School Hub. The event was formally opened by Maynooth University President, Professor Eeva Leinonen, with a welcome address to the students. The event was supported by a panel of judges which included Intel employees and they each visited the student projects to hear about all their work. Each judge found it difficult to decide on the selected winners with such a high level of projects to choose from.

The 2022/2023 initiative was another exciting year for the Mini Scientist competition with over 6,300 students from 100 schools in 20 counties across Ireland taking part. This year there was over 1,000 projects created as part of the Mini Scientist competition.

The Grand Final was filled with innovative and imaginative projects, put together through months of hard work and the judges, after a very difficult task of deliberation, selected their winning projects;

Grand Final Overall Winner

  • Hydroelectricity from Alexandra College Junior School, Rathmines, Co. Dublin

Runner-up Awards

  • Paper Blast from Wicklow Montessori Primary School, Co. Wicklow
  • SLABS from St. Raphaela's Primary School, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
  • Why bikes should have indicators? from St. Mochta's NS, Clonsilla, Dublin
  • The Beeping Box from Faughart Community NS, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Special Awards
Additional special prizes were awarded as follows:

Best Communication Award:

  • Male and Female Facial Characteristics from Scoil Bhríde Leixlip, Co. Kildare
  • DJ Mini Scientist from Scoil Naomh Brid Celbridge. Co. Kildare  

Sustainability Award:

  • Trash into Treasure from St. Patrick's Boys and Girls NS, Co. Galway   

Best Project Book Award

  • How to make plastic from Milk from Ballyboughal NS, Co. Dublin

Best Visual Display Award

  • Hydraulic Power from Scoil Angela, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Most Innovative Award:

  • 'One Step Ahead' from St. Stephens NS Navan, Co. Meath

Lucy Maher, Natasha Nangle, Amálie O'Ríordáin and Mackenzie Gorman from Alexandra College Junior School in Dublin 6 were named the overall winners of the Intel Mini Scientist for their project ‘Hydroelectricity’. The group completed a project on hydroelectricity, using their learnings to come up with two reusable water systems - a filter system that allows used water to be cleaned and ready for drinking and a system that pumps the water back around to be used again. 

As part of the prize for the overall winning project, Alexandra College, will receive a grant of €1000 from Intel.

Speaking abut the Grand Final, President of Maynooth University, President Eeva Leinonen, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many talented young scientists to Maynooth University for the Mini Scientist Grand Final. It is a pleasure to support this national event, hosted annually by Intel. This event underlines Intel’s belief in fostering the energy and the intrinsic curiosity that young people have for science. The incredible range of projects here today bodes well for the future of science and for the future of Ireland. I wish all the mini scientists who have made it through to the final, and all who have participated, the very best for their futures, and look forward to seeing them return perhaps to Maynooth University someday.”