Two teenagers from Mount Saint Michael Secondary School were recognised for their innovative creation, an app and beehive monitoring system, which aims to help people start beekeeping and monitor the health of their beehive at the recent Teen Turn SciFest.
Elizabeth Byrne and Aoibheann Mangan students in Mount St Michael secondary school in Claremorris were winners of the Technology Hardware category and overall runners-up at Teen Turns SciFest, a national competition promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Their project “The Hive” was one of 47 projects exhibiting at the event in Dublin which featured 13 projects from the County Mayo school.
Elizabeth and Aoibheann developed an educational app with practical applications for beekeepers. Elizabeth said “I am a beekeeper and one of the things I am always being asked is how do you get into beekeeping, I wanted to make this app to help people understand and learn about beekeeping as a way of encouraging and supporting new people to get into beekeeping”.
As well as creating an app with key areas on how to go beekeeping and the importance of bees in the environment, the girls linked up practical features which Aoibheann descibes as “we designed and printed our own 3d printed case that attaches safely to a hive so as not to interfere with the bees but allowing users of our app to monitor on their app the temperature and humidity of the beehive and a camera view of the entrance to the hive to monitor activity and capture any signs of disease entering the hive.”
The girls worked on their app at Project Squad, Teen Turns after school offering which takes place in Mount Saint Michael every Thursday afternoon. Teen-Turn is an Irish non-profit organisation that provides teen girls the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM experience and the support to acquire qualifications and jobs, with a particular emphasis on underserved communities.
Lead mentor and teacher in the school Ms Stephanie Hogan and Teen Turns online mentors worked with the girls through stages where they were engaged in research, development,prototyping and testing. Through visits to ATU in Galway where Teen Turn linked up with Carine Garchon Head of the Transcend program and her team in the Engineering Department the girls were able to get their 3d design printed for adding to a beehive. With Elizabeth’s beehive to “test out the goods” the girls were able to modify their designs until they were happy with their final design.
We are keeping an eye on these talented young women who look set to go far!