Student Enterprise Awards

Presentation Castleisland is a leading school in the country in terms of its participation and student success in the Student Enterprise Programme.

Over 25,000 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. Students then have an opportunity to go on and participate at a national (All-Ireland) level. Students in the school are also encouraged and supported to enter into the Intermediate and Senior categories of the competition. We have been very successful over the past number of years, with students winning 36 County and 12 National Titles which have included nine 1st Place County Titles and 1st Place in the Junior and Intermediate Categories at the National Final.

RTE Appearances

In May 2021, Mairead Walsh from Safety Studs was selected to showcase her group’s enterprise project on the RTÉ Late Late Show. There was another TV appearance for the school, when in May 2022, Orlaith Buckley and Katelyn Curtin from Mearscaoilte Lao were invited to present their enterprise on RTE’s The Today Show. These appearances on Ireland’s top rated chat shows is 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 programme. 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 modelling.

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 programme, 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”.  Our students took samples of water from various parts of the county, which was 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.

In 2018, 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”. 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.

In 2022, we had 5 students qualify in BT Young Scientists competition. Our first group, Ciara Cahill and Emma Keane with a project titled ‘Moody Foody’, investigated the effects that food has on your mood, fitness, sleep, and heart rate.

Our second group of finalists, Megan Dennehy, Clodagh Coffey, and Julia Curtin explored the behavioural effects that COVID 19 has on young children. They worked closely with our local primary schools interviewing, surveying, and observing the school community to see if they saw a difference in the students because they have seen first-hand the difference between the behaviours and social interactions of students before Covid and after being in lockdown.

Presentation Secondary School students thoroughly enjoy the experience of the BT Young Scientist and have brushed shoulders with people such as President Michael D.Higgins, Leo Varadkar, Miriam O’Callaghan, Brian O’Driscoll, Nicky Burns and many more over their years in travelling to Dublin. We cannot wait to make another trip this year.

BT Young Scientist 2021-22

Megan Dennehy, Clodagh Coffer, Julia Curtin, Ciara Cahill, Emma Keane

Emma Keane, Ciara Cahill

Clodagh Coffey, Julia Curtin, Megan Dennehy

BT Young Scientist 2020-21


Over 30 Transition Year students participated in our SciFest@School 2022 competition. With 5 awards up for grabs, our winners were;

‘Colour Memory’ by Mya Griffin, Anna McSweeney, and Aoibhe Hickey took home the award for Best Project. This project developed on the idea that students retain more information if the information is written in colour pen rather than a black or blue pen.

The Runner-up Best Project went to ‘How COVID-19 has affected people with additional needs’ by Aine Murphy, Blathnaid Casey and Lauren O’Connor. These girls took a sensitive topic and brought to light the struggles that students with additional needs went through during the pandemic.

The AbbVie Young Innovator Award was awarded to ‘Moody Foody’ by Ciara Cahill, Emma Keane and Orlaith O’Connor. These students took this project into their own hands as they were the subjects of their own investigation. Each student took on a specific diet and looked at the effects this diet had on many aspects of their life such as sleep, mood, exercise, and heart rate. The three diets shown were unhealthy, Keto and a balanced diet.

‘How Social Media affects your Mental Health as a Teenager’ by Jennifer Culloty, Aoife Fleming, and Katelynn Laide took away the Bristol-Myers Squibb Passion for STEM Award. These girls researched a well-known topic and presented the judges with finding that they couldn’t ignore. Though surveying a select number of students in each year, the girls were able to compare the effects on social media on different age groups.

The Society of Irish Foresters (SOIF) Award was given to Nora Anne Hartnett and Elaine Cronin for their project on ‘The Effects of Different Alcohols on Plants’. They girls wanted to find out if any other liquid besides water would increase the growth of a plant.

Aine Murphy, Blathnaid Case, Lauren O’Connor

Katelyn Laide, Jennifer Culloty, Aoife Fleming

Emma Keane, Orlaith O’Connor, Ciara Cahill

Elaine Cronin, Nora Anne Hartnett

Anna McSweeney, Mya Griffin

ScieFest@College 2021

MTU Tralee SciFest announced their winners of 2021 and Presentation Secondary School Castleisland received four major awards.

Emma Buckley, Danielle Moriarty, and Cara Fleming won the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award for their project on ‘Which Face Covering is the most Effective?’. The girl’s project was deeply researched, informing us on the different types of face coverings and the environmental impacts of incorrect disposing.

Fiona Brosnan, Tara Enright and Joanna Moynihan are the proud recipients of The Merit Award. This group of scientists explored the use of screen time for both educational and recreational use.

Presentation Students also received awards for First and Second place in the Intimidate Physical Sciences Category Awards.

Abigail Martin and Daria Oliwniak picked up the prestigious award of 1st place for their investigation into coated and non-coated tablets. These girl’s took essential scientific knowledge of acid and bases and the digestive system to design an experiment to mimic what happens when tablets reach the stomach and the small intestine.

Danielle Moriarty, Cara Fleming and Emma Buckley also received second place in this category, due recognition for the high-quality research and presentation of their work.

SciFest provided trophies, plaques, and other prizes to the students at the beginning of the school year. The STEM collection of awards for Presentation Castleisland is once again expanding.