SciFest is a local one-day science fair held in third level colleges and open to all second level students. A SciFest fair includes a competition and exhibition of projects, a selection of science talks, science demonstrations in the college laboratories and a prize-giving ceremony. SciFest aims to encourage a love of science through an investigative approach to learning and to provide an opportunity for students to display their scientific discoveries. Each year, under the tutelage of the irreplacable Ms Higgins, students form Magh Ene are given the oppurtunity to enter this competition.



1. A Study into the effect of colour on heat/light absorption
Eimear Colreavy, Rozarah Glenane and Laura Russell

In this project we carried out the following tests;
Test 1: We found that the cans covered with coloured felt and the painted cans gave different results for the amount of heat absorbed.
In the case of the felt, the orange can absorbed the least heat only reaching a maximum temperature of 24˚C.  The yellow felt can reached the highest temperature at 31.2˚C.
In the case of the painted cans, the purple painted can absorbed the least heat reaching a temperature of 29.7˚C, while the green can reached the highest temperature at 38.3C.
In all cases, the painted cans absorbed more heat than the felt covered cans.

Test 2: We investigated the pigments present in different coloured paints, no result was present. The colours did not separate as they travelled up the plate

Test 3 : We found that in the case of the coloured solutions: Red solution absorbed the most light at 470nm.Yellow solution absorbed the most light at 430nm.Green solution absorbed the most light at 635nm.Blue solution absorbed the most light at 635nm

2. Stealth Shapes: Which 3D geometric shapes scatter light the most

Jack Ronayne Radek Wymentowski

In this project, we inserted an LED flashlight and a light sensor to a box covered with black paper.  Different 3D shapes of card were placed inside the box and the amount of light reflected by the shape was measured.  The shapes that reflected the least amount of light were the crumpled v-shape and the v-shape.  The shape that reflected the most light was the cylinder.  We believe that the v-shape deflected the light in opposite directions away from the light sensor.  The cylinder was fairly wide and must have reflected most of the light directly back towards the sensor. As a result of our experiment, we believe that v-shapes should be incorporated into any stealth design

3. A Study into the effect of bridge design on weight bearing capacity

Daithi McGloin and David Kerrigan

In this project, we built two bridges from popsicles; a Howe Truss bridge and a Warren Truss bridge. In order to find out which bridge design is the most stable, we hung weights from the middle of the bridge until it snapped. The Warren truss bridge held 3,100g and the Howe Truss held a staggering 7,900g. Both the Warren Truss and the Howe Truss bridges include triangular shapes in their design which spreads the weight over a wider area.  The Howe Truss bridge also has L-shapes in its design which we believe made it better able to handle the forces of compression and tension.

4. A Study into the effect of peppermint on human speed reaction tests

Aron Jones and Orin Mc Gann

In this project, we investigated the effect of peppermint on reaction speeds. Twelve test subjects (3 females and 9 males) completed an online reaction speed test before and after taking a peppermint sweet.  Each test was repeated three times and the average result for each test subject was calculated.  The overall initial average reaction speed was 0.262s and the overall final average reaction speed was 0.272s.  We carried out a t-test to compare the reaction speeds before and after taking the peppermint sweet. This t-test indicated that there is not a statistically significant difference between the two reaction speeds.

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