On Friday, 11th May, the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) Competition Final for secondary school students took place at Coca-Cola International Services offices in Southgate Shopping Centre. Twenty shortlisted projects from the original 44 applications, were reviewed in detail by the judges from Coca-Cola International Services, State Street, Fitz Scientific, The Mill Enterprise Hub, and Bricks4Kidz Louth. The overall winners were George O’Carroll and Hugo Collins, students at Drogheda Grammar School, who impressed judges with their social enterprise project, “Storyboard”.

The overall winners of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards 2018, Hugo Collins (left) and George O’Carroll of Drogheda Grammar School, with their Business teacher Alma Carney. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Storyboards was created by George and Hugo as learning tools used to help people with autism deal with anxiety in everyday life.  They list out the exact steps that are taken when performing everyday tasks or going to new places e.g. going to the barbers. These are currently freely available in the Arc cinema, Southgate Barbers, Drogheda Leisure Park, and in a few other places in Drogheda.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the three categories (Science/Technology, Business, and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries. This is the fifth year of the awards which focus on all aspects of Innovation, and has become an integral part of the local school curriculum.

According to Breanndán Casey, BDM of The Mill Enterprise, “This competition has gone from strength to strength each year, and with 44 applications, it’s fair to say that Innovation is alive and well in Drogheda. We work with our partners State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse, Bricks4Kidz, and Fitz Scientific to visit all nine schools in the region to highlight the innovation that is currently occurring locally, and to ensure that students have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles”.

Alison Cowzer of East Coast Biscuits speaking at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Alison Cowzer of East Coat Bakehouse was one of the judges, and commented “I am extremely impressed by the innovation on display today across all three categories, and some of the applicants would not be out of place on Dragons’ Den. Based on the level of innovation displayed, Drogheda’s future is very bright”.  Alison also told the students to put aside the question of what they want to be in the future, and focus on what they enjoy doing and what they are good at – by doing so, they will truly excel in their future careers and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Organised by a voluntary group of local business people, teachers, and The Mill Enterprise Hub, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise, or business.

The 2018 winners who received their certificates and cash prizes included:

  • “Storyboard” – Overall winner of DYI 2018, Drogheda Grammar School (George O’Carroll, Hugo Collins)
Lisa Duffy and Karen Lynch from State Street with the Drogheda Young Innovators winners of 2018 George O’Carroll and Hugo Collins
  • “Makes Cents Prepaid Card” – Business Group Category, Sacred Heart
Luisa Woods, Leah Keogh and Eva Barnett of Sacred Heart School reeive an award from Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific for their project “Make Cents” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
  • “Handii”– Business Group Category, St Mary’s Diocesan School
Peter Toohey (left), Dotun Fatoki and Thomas Metcalfe of St. Mary’s Diocesan School receive the award in the Business Grioup category of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards from Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific for their project on a contactless payments device called Handii. Photo: Andy Spearman.
  • “Ovea Soap” – Business Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
Olivia Butler (left) and Victoria Fabijaniak from Our Lady’s College, Greenhills receive the award in the business category of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards for their project Ovea Soap from Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. Photo: Andy Spearman
  • “Get a girl through a day” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
Ciara Clarke and Anna Brodigan from Our Lady’s College, Greenhills with their project, “Get a Girl Through Her Day – Tompack” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
  • “Hele-Shaw Cell Experiment” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills (Sorcha McGeown).
Sorcha McGeown from Our Lady’s College, Greenhills with her project “A Hele-Shaw Experiment” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.

The TY students at Drogheda Grammar School will also receive a workshop from Bricks4Kidz, focusing on STEM using LEGO as a fun and practical way of learning.

“It was great to have the diverse range of ideas this year, and more importantly, to see how the students have worked on their ideas over the past three months”, said Anna Keller of Coca-Cola International Services, “We also had 80 students attend a Workshop at The Mill in April which gave students an opportunity to work on their projects and receive real feedback from students and judges”.

“We expect at least 1 in 10 of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. He continued “The applicants have already displayed great initiative and innovation, and the DYI project gives them a fantastic opportunity to work on ideas and interact with like-minded students and entrepreneurs.”

Kelly Traynor Murphy (left) and Sarah Mannion of Ballymakenny College whose project SAFE was in the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Annie Byrne (left) and Ailish Carroll from Scoil Uí Mhuire, Dunleer, pictured at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards with their project AA Éadaí. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Reece Mullen, Adam Brady, Oran Kinch and Martin Finnegan from St. Mary’s Diocesan School with their project “Electrolock” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards Photo: Andy Spearman.
Dominyka Rimkute of Ballymakenny College at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards with her project B&D Candles. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Temi Adeoti (left) and Harriette Flynn of Scared Heart School with their project “Spa-Licious” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Conor Maguire (left) and Barry Johnson of Scoil Uí Mhuire, Dunleer with their project “Bits and Bobs” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards.
Robert Keogh (left) and Danila Kolesnik of St. Joseph’s CBS with their “Emergency Locator” project at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
09 – Olivia Butler (left) and Victoria Fabijaniak from Our Lady’s College, Greenhills with their project Ovea Soap at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Luisa Woods, Leah Keogh and Eva Barnett of Sacred Heart School with their project “Make Cents” at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Hugo Collins (left) and George O’Carroll of Drogheda Grammar School whose project “Storyboard” won the top prize at the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.
St. Mary’s Diocesan School boys (from left) Seb Lennon, Calum Agnew, Ryan Lannon, Sam Victory, Liam Murphy and James Ospanov at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards with their project “Face Valu”. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Sean Savage, Scott Brady and Nathan Campbell of St. Mary’s Diocesan School at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards with their project “Block chains in the Housing Market”. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Sacred Heart girls Rachel Callan, Shauna Murphy, Geena Gray and Eva Loftus with their project “Achieve” which is a multi-sports handbook, at the finals of the Drogheda Young Innovator Awards. Photo: Andy Spearman.

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