Cork, Ireland, May 29, 2019 — Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that students from St Aloysius’ College in Carrigtwohill have won the company’s 2019 School Science Competition, now in its 15th year.
Aoife Morris and Tianha Williams, both from Midleton, each won the overall prize for their project, “Developing an organic solar cell coating solution to mitigate fossil fuel usage by motor vehicles.” The students offered alternatives to fossil fuel usage in cars by developing a solar cell coating that powers vehicles with solar energy.
“Merck’s School Science Competition is one of my favourite events of the year. As well as being a demonstration of the Cork site’s commitment to science education and promoting an interest in STEM subjects locally, it is a real energy boost for all of us involved,” said Martin McAuliffe, head of Operations at Merck’s Cork site. “I can’t speak highly enough of our colleagues on site who support this event and give generously of their time during the year to work with the schools and the students.”
The contestants were required to create projects in the STEM space and were free to pick any subject. As part of the final project, the students created posters to display at the event and presented their projects to a panel of judges. The three judges included two Merck employees and a representative from University College Cork. The winners each won an iPad for their respective projects.
Merck established the competition to raise awareness of STEM disciplines and encourage secondary-level students to consider careers in these fields. Merck employees visited the schools on three occasions to offer mentorship and advice to participants.
Other competitors included students from Midleton CBS, Midleton College, Pobalscoil na Trionóide in Youghal, St Mary’s High School in Midleton and Carrignafoy Community College in Cobh.
Local TD (Teachta Dála) and Minster of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton, who attended Merck’s award event, congratulated the company for supporting the competition for the past 15 years.
“It’s something I try and get to every year because it’s so positive,” Stanton said. “You learn so much and it’s gratifying to see young people taking so much interest in science, especially STEM subjects. In my role as Minister of State of Equality, I’m pleased to see so many young women involved in the STEM area.”
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.
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