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BT Young Scientist;

BT Young Scientist 2024

Sadhbh Bonner and Denisa Horvat won the speciality ISTA (Irish Science Teachers Association) award at the 2024 BT Young Scientist competition in the RDS in Dublin. 
This is awarded to the project that can best be applied to the teaching and learning of Leaving Certificate Physics, Chemistry and Biology. 
Their project is called ' How to Improve the Teaching of Astronomy'. 

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BT Young Scientist 2023

Largy college were delighted to have two entries making it to the BT Young Scientist 2023. Over 1700 entries were received with only 550 making it to the RDS.

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Mariia Yaroshchuk’s project was entitled "Acid Attack" focused on the effect of beverages on our saliva pH. Mariia has a passion to become a dentist and wanted to see how these beverages could lead to dental caries. She surveyed students and local dentists. The judges were very complimentary and even gave Mariia advice on enhancing her project further.

Amy Jo Kierans, Deirbhíle Burns and Zach Rooney’s project was entitled “Person First Player Second”. Their project investigated the extent of side-line abuse in underage games. The students collected over 270 surveys and interviewed a number of high level sports players, coaches and managers. Their results confirmed that side-line abuse in underage games is significantly under researched and a very serious problem in sport. The students are looking forward to sharing their findings with Cavan and Monaghan GAA and hopefully their research will contribute to finding a solution to this problem

BT Young Scientist 2021

4th year students Donna Burns, Rebecca Murphy and Karolis Rute were successful in reaching the exhibition stage of the BT Young Scientist Competition. They will be representing Largy College in the virtual exhibition in January . Their project explores ‘What type of hand sanitiser (gel, foam or spray) is the most effective at removing germs?’ 

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BT Young Scientist 2019

Every year the science department encourages students to enter the BT Young Scientist competition as part of their extracurricular studies in Largy College.


Largy College student James O’Harte was successful in his entry to the BT Young Scientist Competition 2019 which is held annually in the RDS Dublin. James' project was titled 'Examining the Economic Effect of the Uncertainty Surrounding Brexit'.

James spent 4 days in the RDS in Dublin where he presented his project to thousands of fellow students, teachers and judges. James had a lot of interest from Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin in his project. He also got to meet and hear from Professor Brian Cox.

Of the experience James has said; 'The BY Young Scientist Exhibition for me was an incredibly valuable experience, that taught me how to properly conduct scientific investigations, allowed me to meet and befriend my peers around the country, and served to help me grow tremendously as a person. I am extremely proud to have represented Largy College in this national competition, and hope to do it again in future. I would recommend anyone considering entering next year to do so.'


Largy College Student scoops top award at the Global Youth Science and Technology Bowl 2020 

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Congratulations to Ruth Madden from Clones who won the Gold Award for Physics and Engineering at a major International Science and Technology Competition which took place in Hong Kong on 1st August 2020.

Representing Largy College Clones, Scifest and Ireland, Ruth showcased her invention, “The Microplastic Filter - A small solution to a global problem”. Ruth’s globally unique filter system removes microplastic fibres and particles suspended in the waste water of domestic washing machines effectively preventing their entry into water courses and the wider environment.

The event, an international student science competition in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics and engineering, is a showcase of global youth scientific achievement and innovation, which aims to promote science and technology, providing a platform for global youth to develop their creativity and scientific mindsets, and facilitate the exchange of scientific ideas, interests and abilities among young scientists all over the world.

Ruth’s nomination to participate in the event in Hong Kong arose from her success in the 2019 Irish National finals of SciFest where she won the prestigious Technological Higher Education Association award and an excellence in STEM award presented by Science Foundation Ireland. Ruth’s also won the 2019 ASM Materials Education Foundation Award for her project. ASM International based in the Unites States, is the world’s largest association of materials engineers and scientists.

Her most recent success saw a professional review panel, composed of academia, judge the projects. Due to the restrictions arising from COVID-19, judging in Ruth’s category was conducted via Zoom Cloud meetings by five university professors, who’s areas of speciality included physics, biomedical, computing, electrical and electronic engineering. The interviews were broadcast live to allow public viewing and took the format of a 5 minute student presentation, followed by question and answer session with the professors. In addition, to assist the judges in their considerations, the professors had available to them, both a Project Abstract and thirty page Project Report which had been furnished last month by each competitor. Li Jianle, the Director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (Innovation and Creativity) who coordinated the competition, said that the competition proved that the enthusiasm of the students is unhindered by the epidemic, and it is an empirical example of using technology to solve problems.

In total there were 122 teams nominated from around world representing 22 countries/regions including inter alia Hong Kong, Macau, South Africa, Jordan, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and Ireland. Following an initial round of judging, 93 made it through to the Grand Final.

Following her win Ruth said "I'm delighted to have received the Gold Award in Physics and Engineering but the Award though, does not just recognise my efforts, but is an acknowledgement of the essential support and encouragement given and shown to me by, not only my family, but by the principal and staff of Largy College and in particular, Ms. Colette Smith, my science teacher, whose never ending enthusiasm and willingness to help was crucial to my success during the difficult academic environment which arose from COVID-19. It would be remiss of me not to also express my sincere thanks to Science Foundation Ireland and Scifest who, through their unbelievable support, afforded me this wonderful opportunity."

You can view Ruth’s video she had to make for the judges here.


Largy College 1st Year Students exhibit 34 innovative science projects at SciFest@School 2024

SciFest@School is where a second-level school hosts their own in-house SciFest science fair. 84 students from 1st Year exhibited 34 projects in SciFest@School in Largy College. This was the school’s 1st SciFest@School and it was a big success. Students demonstrated their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths through their creative and innovative ideas and the projects generated plenty of interest on the day from the judges.

Sheila Porter, Founder and CEO of SciFest commented: “Since SciFest@School was launched nationwide in 2011 it has gone from strength to strength. I am continually amazed by the passion and dedication demonstrated by the students. SciFest@School is a celebration of STEM subjects. It encourages students to push the boundaries of the classroom, use their knowledge of science, investigate and be creative in their projects. The achievement of these students is an inspiration to us all and is a tribute to them and to the hard work and support of their teachers.”

Two of Scifest’s most internationally successful alumni were pupils from Largy College. Louis Madden was the Scifest STEM champion 2015 and represented Ireland at Intel ISEF 2016 in Arizona where he won 2 major awards. In 2019 Ruth Madden was the THEA award winner at the Scifest National Final and then went on to win a top Gold award at the Hong Kong GYSTB 2020. In 2022 Dara Courtney, Sean Clerkin and Joshua Brandon won the ‘ESERO Discover Space Award’, ‘Scifest  Runner-Up Best Project Award’ in Dundalk I.T and a STEM award in the National Final when they were in 1st year. We certainly hope that this scifest@school event will encourage our next Scifest champions!

Scifest@school 2024 winners

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Online Science Competitions during lockdown

ReelLIFE Science @Home Competition

Well done to Karolis Rute and Kevin Dapkus who entered the Reel Life Science @ home competition. The two 2nd year students worked very hard on their video despite  the challenge of working in separate houses during lockdown. They showed great collaboration and on line teamwork skills to produce a film. The film is entitled ‘Leuk-O’Cyte’ and it is a poem and animation about how White Blood Cells work to defend our bodies. The judges commented “We really enjoyed your animations in this video and the voiceover was clear. The Science was concise and easy to understand and this would be very useful to teachers to explain the concept of white blood cells in class”. Watch the video here:


Scifest @college

Well done to 1st Year student Amy Jo Kierans and 2nd Year student Rebecca Murphy who both enter Scifest @college online this year. Amy Jo’s project was ‘A study into cow milk production during social isolation’. Despite the uncertainty around Covid-19 Amy Jo still completed her project within a 2km radius of her home and followed all HSE guidelines. Rebecca’s project was ‘A study into how different coloured paper influences identical twins learning’. This project was carried out at home with her twin sister Leah. Well done girls we are very proud that you represented our school in this competition during the coronavirus pandemic.


Largy College Science students win Saffron travel Science Competition

Congratulations to a group of 2nd year Science students in Largy College who are after winning the Saffron Travel Science Competition. For the competition students had to make a 3 minute video on how Science and Technology integrate different modes of transport to make travelling easier, cleaner and more energy efficient in their community in the next 10-20 years. Their winning video was selected from 140 entries to win the competition. For the film the students carried out a research survey to see how many cars were currently at houses in the community and if the people of Clones would be willing to carpool or take the bus if it they went past their place of work. They discovered that 100% of people surveyed would love if Clones Railway would open again too. The proposals that the students put forward were all important to the environment because transport accounts for a high percentage of carbon dioxide emissions.

One option was to reopen the railway and use hydrogen powered trains with passengers getting credit for their journey if they recycle plastic bottles in the train station. Another option was to extend the current Ulster Canal Greenway for using ebikes with users getting a free gift every 100km by using a phone app to calculate their kms travelled. Carpooling was another possibility using electric cars with eflow doing a head count as they pass through the toll and the more people in the car the less you have to pay. It was also suggested to use electric buses because under the National Development Plan Ireland has committed to no longer purchase diesel buses and those that travel by bus should get a reduction in their next journey. The students also wanted to know what their councils commitment was in relation to helping to combat climate change so they interviewed Cllr. Seamus Coyle Cathaoirleach for the film.

The prize was for 20 students to go on the Saffron Science European border hoppin’ experience and it was sponsored by Saffron Travel, eflow and Intelligent Transport systems. They travelled to Belgium, Holland and Germany from Friday 17th Jan to Sunday 19th Jan. On the first day after an early start, the students arrived in Zaventem where they were picked up by coach and were brought to the Technopolis Interactive Science Museum. After lunch they were then brought into Brussels to see all the tourist attractions Grand Place and Maneken Pis and then out to a resatuarant that evening. On the second day after breakfast in the hotel the students went to Aqualand Waterpark followed by a trip to Cologne and dinner. On the final day the students spent the day at Efteling Themepark and everyone arrived home late that night. It was a remarkable achievement and a fun time was had by all!!!



Louis Madden – SciFest 2015, Intel ISEF Award 2016

SciFest is an all-island science initiative which fosters active, collaborative and inquiry-based learning among second level students. In 2015, Louis Madden, as a transition year student entered a project into the Scifest competition. That year, 2015 a record number of more than 7,200 students exhibited their projects in local and regional science fairs across the country. During this phase of the competition, Louis won the award for Best Project at the regional final held in the Dundalk Institute of Technology and with it the opportunity to exhibit his project at the national finals. At the national finals, which were held in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin, Louis was one of forty eight regional winning students exhibiting twenty seven distinct STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) projects.

Following several rounds of judging at the national final, Louis’ project was selected as the SciFest Best Project nationally for 2015 and was awarded the SciFest Science Foundation Ireland Grand Award, for his project entitled - Bringing Genetics to the Masses: The Next Step in Genetic Research.

Louis’s project investigated whether genetic testing and DNA research could be carried out simply, cheaply and efficiently. He found that important genetic research was often limited by the cost of the necessary equipment. He spent just under €150 on cheap and recycled material to build several complex pieces of laboratory equipment including a vortex, centrifuge, Polmerase Chain Reaction thermal cycler, trans-illuminator, gel box with power supply and gel camera. Using this equipment, he isolated and amplified chloroplast DNA using a proprietary DNA extraction kit. Comparing his results with those of other tests of the same material, he demonstrated that genetic testing could be done in a simpler, cheaper, and more effective manner.

As well as winning the accolade of Best Project, Louis also won the opportunity to represent Ireland at the INTEL international Science and Engineering Fair in the United States. The INTEL fair, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition with over 1,700 entries annually from75 countries from around the globe.


At the fair, which was held in Phoenix, Arizona from 8th – 13th May 2016, Louis won two major awards. These included a $1,000 bursary presented by Monsanto, the American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation for his innovation in plant sciences and sustainability and scholarship, presented by the Italian Bruno Kessler Foundation for Louis to participate in the research project the “Web Valley” which was held in Trento, a village in the foothills of the Italian Alps, during the summer of 2016. This three-week programme of interdisciplinary scientific research, saw Louis and three other international students along with twelve Italian students work with researchers and leading academics on the development of infrared hand held technology supported by web based software for use within the agricultural industry to assess crop ripeness, especially in soft fruits.




Emilie GrieBer

5th Year


Theme 3: Forest wildlife and plants. 


'Sunset from the spider’s perspective' The beauty of Ireland captured by a German exchange student living in Co. Monaghan. 


I spotted this unusual perspective on one of my cycles after school when I took a break from my studies. I had reached the top of a Hill and paused to admire the stunning sunset, looking over the field to the forest. You can even see the beautiful cobweb in the picture. I was lost in my thoughts and tried to soak in the light and brightness for the oncoming winter.

 Emilie GrieBer 5th Year Theme 4: Enjoying our forests.

Caption: 'Colour explosion' The beauty of Ireland captured by a German exchange student 

Description: I took this picture during a fantastic autumn walk in the Marble Arch Nature Reserve with my host family. I was stunned by the intensity of the colours of this tree which was enthroned over the water falling down.


Leah Murphy

3rd Year

Theme 4: Enjoying our forests       

Caption: A splash of beauty

Description: My photo was taken in Dartry Forest in Cootehill Co. Cavan when I was out enjoying a well-deserved break from my studies with my sister. Sometimes we just walk in silence and take in the beauty around us - it is our wellbeing break. I am so lucky to have this forest close to my home and I know I can go for a walk anytime.

Rebecca Murphy
3rd Year

Theme 4: Enjoying our forests       

Caption: The best side of nature

Description: This wonderful landscape of Dartry Forest in Cootehill Co. Cavan is so relaxing from all the stress of Covid and school. It is a great way to explore the natural beauties of wildlife and plants all around. I love this forest for its scenic walks and runs with the family and has many routes to choose from and I appreciate it more now to have it so close to my home when I want to destress from my exam studies.

Karolis Rute
3rd Year
 Theme 4: Enjoying our forests       

Caption:death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty”

Description: I am a 3rd year student in Largy College in Clones. I was taking a walk in Bellamont forest in Cootehill near my home and taking a break from my studies. The scenery of the forest had reminded me of a quote from Romeo and Juliet which had inspired the caption. The forest was filled with soft colours that made me feel very relaxed.


Largy College Science Week 2022

For Science week the 1st year students completed a project based on one of the new Junior Cycle Learning Outcomes: ‘Students should be able to design, build and test a device that transforms energy from one form to another in order to perform a function; describe the energy changes and ways of improving efficiency’. The projects were of an excellent standard. The winners from each class were presented with their trophies and the overall winner was presented with the perpetual shield. There was also a quiz for 1st years in their classes and various other activities with prizes given for all.

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The 2nd year students completed a project based on one of the new Junior Cycle Learning Outcomes also: ‘Students should be able to develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe predictable phenomena observable on Earth, including seasons, lunar phases, and eclipses of the sun and moon’. The projects were of an excellent standard with all students in the year producing finished pieces. The winners from each class and overall winners were presented with their trophies. There was also a quiz for 2nd years in their classes and various other activities with prizes given for all. Congratulations to all the winners of the quizzes –


Largy College scoop top awards at Scifest 2022 in DKIT

Three 1st year students: Dara Courtney, Sean Clerkin & Joshua Brandon entered Scifest this year which took place in Dundalk IT on Tuesday 10th May. Schools from all around the region assembled in the Institute of Technology and set up their projects. The students then had to present their projects to several judges.

Dara, Sean and Joshua had a project entitled “A Four Seasons Photovoltaic Self-Charging Rover – the Mars PSR”, on display on the day. We were absolutely delighted when it was announced that their project won the ‘ESERO Discover Space Award’. Furthermore, the students also scooped one of the biggest awards ‘The Scifest 2022 Runner-Up Best Project Award’! Despite Largy’s successes in the past in this competition – it was a remarkable achievement this time for 1st years to win these awards. By winning the runner up award this means that the students now qualify to have their project considered for participation in the Scifest 2022 National Final which will be held on 25th November in the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin. Some of the judge’s comments on the day were: “very impressive well thought out project and was presented excellently”, “very informed and well researched project” and “excellent prototyping and assembly”.

As a group they all share one common interest and that is anything that is Earth and Space related! They decided to do a project in some way related to Mars – which seems to be the buzz ‘go-to’ planet now! Mars is one of the most explored bodies in our solar system, and it's the only planet where we have sent rovers to roam the alien landscape. What inspired them to make this vehicle was the current expedition of the NASA Perseverance Mars Rover.

The students have been working on the Mars PSR for months and started by designing and making a protype using equipment found at home or in the lab. Then the final design was completed on Solidworks. They decided to use solar cells on this design. Solar energy is often used to power space missions because it is the only source of energy that does not need to be launched with the spacecraft and can power the spacecraft for several years. While relying on solar panels may seem risky in such a dusty environment on Mars but doing so lessens the amount of mass at launch, lowering cost and complication for the mission and this is why they decided to use solar cells. It was decided that they needed to make some type of a vacuum system that will blow off the dust that clogs around the moving parts. NASA have had limited success themselves with this idea but the students wanted to try something anyway and made various protypes of hoover systems that could attach to a Mars Rover!

They also made a base from Papier Mache that was the same colour as the surface of Mars and they added some coloured sand to give a close resemblance to the surface of Mars as possible. The Rover is built with materials that will not rust on Mars and it is light weight and will be easily transported to Mars if it were to be a full-scale model. The solar panels were facing all sides for the most sunlight exposure. It’s a 4 season Photovoltaic panel rover so it can take energy from the sun all Martian -year-round. 

Best of luck to Dara, Joshua and Sean if they get through to the National Final. They will be working on their project over the summer months and they should know by October if they have been selected. Excellent achievement – well done!

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Largy College, Post Primary School, Clones, Co Monaghan is part of the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board, Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna Chabháin agus Mhuineacháin


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