Student Enterprise Awards

Over 29,000 second-level students enter the Student Enterprise Programme each year. Students get the opportunity to run a real-life business from scratch. Each year we enter our 1st Year students in the Junior Category of the competition. Every single 1st Year student participates for at least four months. They work individually or in groups to bring an idea, right through from prototyping and production to a finished product for sale at the Annual School Final on the day of the Christmas Holidays. Two groups in the Junior Category go forward to represent our school each year at the Kerry County Final. We have been very successful over the past number of years, claiming 25 County and 7 National Titles which have included: Seven 1st Place County Titles and 1st Place in the Junior and Intermediate Categories at the National Final.

In May 2021, Mairead Walsh, from Safety Studs was selected to showcase her groups enterprise project on RTÉ Late Late Show. This appearance on Ireland’s top rated chat show, was recognition of the hardwork, dedication and success our school has had over the past number of years.

Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture is a country wide competition open to Secondary School students where they get the opportunity to design construct and model their own creations, all made from recycled, once used materials.

Junk Kouture is part of our Transition Year program. Students spend time during Art class and after school designing and creating their wearable pieces of Art under the guidance and support of the Art Teacher. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to work collaboratively or independently, exercising their creativity, practicing their problem-solving skills and improving their aptitude for 3D modeling.

We have a proud tradition of taking part in Junk Kouture here in Presentation Secondary, reaching the Southern Regional Finals in University Concert Hall Limerick four times and reaching the Grand Final in the 3 Arena in 2019. It is always listed by students as a highlight of our Transition Year program, and we look forward to seeing what contemporary and exciting designs future cohorts of Transition Year students create in the Art Room.

BT Young Scientist

The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is an Irish annual school students’ science competition that has been held in the Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland, every January since the competition was founded by Fr. Tom Burke & Dr. Tony Scott in 1965.
Presentation Castleisland has a long history with attending the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, not excluding some successful entries in recent years.

In 2016, Gillian Hanifan and Molly O’Callaghan were successful with the entry of their project entitled, “Investigation to find if plants can decrease the levels of nitrates in water caused by pollution”. When Gillian and Molly began Biology in 5th year, there was a discussion about the water pollution in the lakes of Killarney during the summer months. It was decided that their focus for the Young Scientist project would be a natural way to decrease water pollution. Taking inspiration from Frog Environmental, the students took samples of water from various parts of the county. These waters were tested for nitrates and nitrites levels, which are pollution indicators. Plants were floated in each of the water samples to find out if the plants could reduce the levels of these pollution indicators.

The students have found a significant decrease in the levels of these pollution indicators. This could potentially be used on a larger scale if the waters of Kerry were to become polluted again.

In 2016, there was a record breaking 2048 entries to the Young Scientist competition. Presentation Castleisland’s project was one of the 550 to get through to the final. This was a great achievement for the students and for the school as we were the only school in Castleisland to make it to the finals that year.

These Presentation Secondary School students entered their projects other competitions such as ECO-UNESCO Young environmental awards and Scifest, for which they received the top award in Kerry.

In 2018, Presentation Castleisland students, Cait O’Mahony, Ellen Dennehy and Siobhan Brosnan, were successful with the entry of their project, “An Examination of Racist Attitudes among Young People in Ireland”.


Presentation Secondary School students were chosen as one of the 550 projects that were accepted into the exhibition that year.
To carry out their project, these students have surveyed a wide group of teenagers of different ages from across the country. By doing this, students have found what demographics and age groups show the highest levels of racist attitudes.

Cait, Ellen and Siobhan decided to do this project because they believe it could make a difference in society and could help prevent racism. They also wanted to raise awareness of racism among young people.

Presentation Secondary School students thoroughly enjoyed the experience in Dublin at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition and brushed shoulders with people such as President Michael D.Higgins, Leo Varadkar, Miriam O’Callaghan, Brian O’Driscoll, Nicky Burns and many more. They were judged three times over the three days, and while they did not come back with any silverware, they gained a lot from the experience.