Thomond Community College in Limerick was crowned winner of the BD STEM Stars Competition and awarded €10,000 in STEM funding at a presentation in BD’s Research Centre Ireland (RCI) on Friday (06 December).
The global medical technology company, based in Limerick’s National Technology Park in Castletroy, awarded over €24,000 in STEM funding prizes to seven secondary schools across Limerick and Clare as part of the BD STEM Stars Competition.
The competition invited students to identify a key health problem that affects their community and demonstrate how they could solve or improve this problem through the STEM subjects. Thomond Community College were awarded the overall prize for their project which explored the use of blue light to manage stress and anxiety. Runners up, and recipients of €5,000 in STEM funding each, were students from Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, who designed and created an automated medication dispensing unit, and Desmond College in Newcastle West, who designed and created an enhanced digital stethoscope.
Four other schools in Clare and Limerick were also awarded €1,000 in STEM funding each for their highly commended entries including:
- Villiers School for their study into the effectiveness of the male HPV vaccination
- Colaiste Mhuire, Ennis, for a solution they envisioned to monitor vitamin D in the body
- Limerick Educate Together, who developed a solution for paramedics and emergency care workers to retrieve critical patient data in case of a medical emergency
- Salesian, Pallaskenry, for an intervention on infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria
At the presentation of the awards, BD RCI’s Site Director Padraig Fitzgerald commented, “We were blown away by the level of creativity, STEM skills and knowledge showcased in the BD STEM Stars competition entries. Thomond Community College’s project took the overall prize for its originality and relevance. There is so much commentary on the negative effects of the blue light emitted from our LED screens, but the students really turned this topic on its head and excellently showcased their research on the beneficial effects that blue light can have on the human body and mind.
“At BD RCI we are passionate about the STEM subjects and really want to help teach students that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are not just for the classroom or the lab - they’re part of everyday life and can greatly impact our health. This competition has given us great hope that the future of healthcare is in good hands with the budding scientists and engineers in our community.”