Offaly students win at Student Enterprise Awards National Finals

Two science loving students from Edenderry, Co. Offaly were awarded first place in the Intermediate Category at yesterday’s 11th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Finals.

Two science loving students from Edenderry, Co. Offaly were awarded first place in the Intermediate Category at yesterday’s 11th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Finals.

Shauna Bannon Ward (14) and Samantha Brennan (14) from Oaklands Community College, Edenderry, Co. Offaly were judged Overall Winners in the Intermediate Category for The Boom Book, a book of science experiments aimed at 5-10 year olds. Using common household products and simple instructions, the Boom Book team want to encourage the practical, experimental side of science and hope to bring the fun back into the subject for young school goers. The students also run science demonstrations in primary schools as a way of marketing the Boom Book.

Supported by the Offaly County Enterprise Board, the students researched, developed and ran their business as part of the Student Enterprise Awards Programme. As Intermediate Winners, Shauna and Samantha will receive a €400 cash prize and trophy.

Sean Ryan, CEO of Offaly County Enterprise Board was one of the first to congratulate the winning students, saying, “These young entrepreneurs are to be commended for their tremendous success at yesterday’s awards which has brought national attention to themselves, their school and their County. The effort, energy and enthusiasm they have put into their business is wonderful to see in such young students and there is no doubt they will go far, with Offaly Enterprise Board looking forward to supporting them along the way.”

Loman O’Byrne, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the County and City Enterprise Boards added his congratulations saying, “The winning student enterprises today are the leaders of business tomorrow and the Student Enterprise Programme is delighted to be able to play a key role in fostering that entrepreneurial spirit. Displaying innovation and business acumen, these winning students and indeed all the students who took part in the programme since September are laying the groundwork now for exciting and prosperous futures that will ultimately have a positive impact on Ireland and its future economy.”

300 student entrepreneurs from 83 companies competed on the day at the National Finals with winners also in the Senior and Junior Category.

Squeazy, a game based on a science experiment was awarded the Senior Category Winner. As well as enjoying an educational trip to Rome in September the three company members, Matthew Hewston (16), Fergus Munday (16) and Luke Sheridan (16) from St. Clare’s Comprehensive in Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim will also take a place at the National Student Enterprise Business Bootcamp, which will be hosted by the Nexus Innovation Centre at University of Limerick in June 2013. Organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards and supported by Ulster Bank, the bootcamp will focus on helping students develop their business ideas further.

Andrew Butler (13) from CBS High School in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary was announced as Junior Category winner for his Chook Book series about keeping chickens. Andrew has kept chickens since he was 8 years old and with his extensive knowledge has penned two books; ‘A Beginners Guide to Keeping Chickens’ and ‘A Complete Guide to Chicken Breeds’.

15,000 students from over 300 secondary schools have participated in the Student Enterprise Awards programme since September. The 2013/2014 programme starts September 2013, with full details available at www.studententerprise.ie