The experience of entering the BT Young Scientist competition rarely ends with the event for our students in Mohill Community College and this year was no different. Caolan O’Riordain, TY, caught the attention of a leading international charity at the virtual event this year, with his project on the reusing of grey water to grow plants. Self Help Africa, an organisation working with small communities in Africa to introduce sustainable, resourceful energy and farming techniques invited Caolan, along with a select group of other students from schools around the country, to a virtual showcase event in Iveagh House to display and discuss their Young Scientist projects. In another year, this would have been a wonderful day out to the capital, however the online presentation was a welcome recognition of the hard work each student puts in to Young Scientist.

The event was opened by Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development and hosted by Self Help Africa, with their agricultural expert praising Caolan’s inventive techniques for recycling washing machine water at home to grow plants. Listening to the students discuss their projects, with many having conducted them in their own homes, determined to complete them regardless of the pandemic, served as a heart-warming and much needed reminder that education is not solely limited to the classroom in 2021, but is all around our students in their gardens, farmyards and beyond. This was a wonderful celebration of the importance of science exploration and self-led thinking among the students of Ireland, with Mohill Community College delighted to play a part!

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