Cahir boys national school is celebrating a national win again this week, following a top award at the Xperience Engineering National Awards, which were held in The Helix on June 7.
Third class, under their class teacher Yvonne Fahy, scooped the first prize award in The Steps to Engineering competition in a competition hosted by Engineers Ireland & Discover Primary Science. With entries from all over the country, the boys’ project on defibrillators (AEDs) was recognised as the best one on display in the third and fourth class category.
Their presentation is on display in the school if anyone would like to view it before the summer holidays.
It is a very proud award for the school, following a similar achievement in 2010 and being finalists in 2009. In all, only 24 projects out of 240+ were selected to be judged in Dublin. Each one was worthy of the honour of being brought to Dublin and we are especially honoured at the pupils’ achievements.
The project, on defibrillators, started with a study on electricity and circuits and developed into the competition theme of “Technology for Life.”
The choice of defibrillators came from a community aspect to the lesson and somebody asked “what was in the box?” on a wall in The Square in Cahir. From that evolved a study on how defibrillators worked. Cllr. Seánie Lonergan visited the school and explained the need for defibrillators in communities and they also had a visit from Boston Scientific in Clonmel on internal defibrillators.
A trawl of the Internet led to “Becky’s Beat”, a website dedicated to Becky Whelan, from Crehana NS, Carrick-on-Suir and extended the project to collecting mobile phones for a school defibrillator between the girls and boys primary schools. All staff and pupils have relatives and friends hunting for old phones throughout the country. The schools have collected 280 phones so far which will cover the price of a defib, but now for the training!
The project display itself consists of a reconstruction of the AED in Cahir, a log book of all the work done on the project, a poster of how it works and a futuristic AED, as an iPhone/iPad App. The backdrop of veins and arteries leading to and from the heart was a highlight of the presentation and received great comment from all who saw it. A working ‘model’ of a ‘lighting heart’ also drew positive feedback. The project became a whole school activity as staff assisted in the completion of aspects of the display, discussed it, covered classes, collected mobiles.
Thanks must go to all who assisted the project, a particular mention to Yvonne Fahy, who directed, encouraged, motivated and drove the pupils on to bring the project to the level of winning a national award.