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Enjoying the sweet sound of success at St Brendan’s

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THEY have thought of everything from revolutionary headphones and eco-friendly sugar burners to gaming devices that whisk you back in time so it's not surprising the young science whizzes at St Brendan’s College, Killarney, have been impressing at regional as well as local level.

Last Thursday some 19 students from the school participated in the 2016 Kerry regional finals of SciFest at the Institute of Technology Tralee. “The students exhibited exemplary projects displaying in-depth research and investigation as well as innovative entrepreneurial talent,” said St Brendan’s teacher Marian O’Gorman.

The school submitted a total of 12 projects. These were selected following the results of St Brendan’s in-house SciFest competition last March. The projects were based on a broad range of topics including brain injury, invasive species in Killarney National Park and Internet safety. A number of projects involved the invention of a device including drift turbines, a revolutionary set of headphones, an eco-friendly sugar burner and a tracking device.

The school won two awards at the event. Eoin O’Connell was awarded the Sustainable Energy award for his eco-friendly sugar burner. This burner offers a way forward as an alternative energy source which doesn’t burn fossil fuels. As a result, this is an energy source which does not pose any damage to the environment. Eoin may be selected to compete in the SciFest finals next November. Seán Farndon, Seán Myers and Aaron Duggan were awarded an honorary award for their invention of their revolutionary headphones. They carried out a study on a wide range of available brands of headphones and identified the strength of each brand. “By combining the best characteristics from each brand, the team designed their own headphones which are of excellent quality and can be retailed at the reasonable price of €20 per set,” said Marian.

 


 
Seán Farndon, Aaron Duggan and Seán Myers who received an honorary award for the headphones they designed.

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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