Samira Heckett and Hannah Curtin of Midleton College who were the overall winners of the Merck School Science Competition with Mark Dunphy, Site Director of Merck. Photo: Adrian O’Herlihy

‘A world of possibilities’

Two students from Midleton College have won a science competition which aims to foster STEM education.

Samira Heckett and Hannah Curtin were the winners of Merck’s annual Schools Science Competition. This year marked the 20th edition of the competition, which has been a cornerstone of STEM education in the local community for the past 24 years. Despite a brief hiatus during the pandemic, the competition has continued to thrive, thanks to the support of teachers and volunteers within Merck.

The winners of this year’s competition were Hannah Curtin and Samira Heckett. from Midleton College for their project Microplastics in Crabs.

Hannah Curtin said: “We are incredibly honoured and grateful to have been selected as the winner of the Merck Schools Science Competition. This experience has not only allowed us to showcase our passion for science but has also opened doors to a world of possibilities in STEM fields. I’d like to thank our secondary school for their encouragement and guidance throughout this journey.”

St Fanahan’s Mitchelstown, St Mary’s Midleton, Midleton College, Midleton CBS and Carrignafoy Community School Cobh participated in the annual Schools Science Competition. The Merck Schools Science Competition serves as a platform to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education among young minds.

Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD said: “Events like these play a vital role in encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM fields, which are essential for driving innovation and economic growth. I am hugely impressed by the broad range of projects from the schools represented in the competition and the findings presented which are both practical and timely.”