Borrisoleigh Students Claim 1st place in European Competition

A team from St Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh has won first place in a European wide competition to combat ocean pollution. The Mario Ruivo Prize in conjunction with EurOcean challenged 11-16 year olds across Europe to design projects to ensure that the ocean we grow up with continues to play an essential role in our lives while being maintained for future generations, based on the principles of a Blue Society.

The students from St Joseph’s College, Laura Hutchinson and Antoinette Atik were shortlisted as finalists and announced as the ultimate winners at the awards ceremony held at The CommOcean Conference in Bruges, Belgium last night 7th December. Their project entitled ‘Bags with Tags’ was also a Special Award winner at SciFest held in LIT Thurles during 2016.

bags-with-tags-students borrisoleigh

The project is based on magnetic ‘tags’ which are attached inside the handles of plastic bags. These bags, if discarded in waterways, would be attracted to magnets that could be strategically placed along streams, rivers, estuaries etc.

Laura and Antoinette explain how it all began ” Last February we began looking at science fair projects. We both have a great interest in the sea and wanted to do something that would help pollution of our waterways. After walking around our lovely village, listening to reports on the news and reading many articles on how marine life are suffering we decided to do something about the quantity of plastic bags that end up in our waterways.

This coincided with a European based competition called ‘Your ocean, Your future’. This was being funded by the Mario Ruivo prize foundation in conjunction with EurOcean. For this project, we had to submit a proposal of a unique idea on how we could save our oceans. This was the beginning of our project titled ‘Bags with Tags’.
We were thrilled when we got through phase one of the competition. For phase 2, we then had to submit a proposal to a jury who deliberated and picked the best 3 entries from all over Europe. We made a video explaining how our project would work. This can be seen on our Facebook page – Bags with Tags. We would like to say thank you to our science teacher, Mary Gorey for her help.”

The students, and their project, have also been accepted and will be exhibiting their project at the BT Young Scientists Exhibition in 2017.

bags with tags borrisoleigh st josephs college

The Winners with their award


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