Sunday 20 October 2019 02:20:09 AM

SERC Students Qualify For Top Science And Technology Competition
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Young Scientists Showcase Genius  

TALENTED Applied Science students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) have qualified for the BT Young Scientist and Technology competition… the only further education college in Northern Ireland competing at the prestigious event.

The exhibition, which takes place in January, brings the magic of science and technology, engineering and math’s alive in education and gives students a high profile platform to showcase their talent. The College will be proudly represented by two enthusiastic students, Conan Mulraine and Kyle Clarke who will travel to Dublin to compete at the very prestigious competition, held in the RDS Dublin.

SERC Applied Science students Conan Mulraine and Kyle Clarke off to Dublin to compete in a BT applied science competition.

SERC Applied Science students Conan Mulraine and Kyle Clarke off to Dublin to compete in a prestigious  BT applied science competition.

“It is an incredible achievement for the team to make it this far and to have the chance to represent Co Down at such an extraordinary event. Their innovative project involves the investigation into whether ethanol distilled from a kilo of ‘discarded’ apples can be used to power generators or even fuel campfires”, said tutor Johnathan Cush, who will accompany the students to Dublin.

SERC have a strong track record of success at the competition, most recently in 2012 when they were ‘Highly Commended’ for their project which produced anti-bacterial soap from cooking oil and anti-bacterial plant extracts. The students are hoping to wow the judges again with their scientific know-how in the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences category.

Ken Webb Principal and Chief Executive for SERC said he was “absolutely delighted” that the students have got this far and added:  “Their enthusiasm and commitment is a great inspiration for young people in the region. Science and the environment will only benefit from such initiatives and I wholeheartedly support the students in their adventure. I would like to wish the students and Science Department good luck in the high profile competition.”


Killyleagh Student Conan Delighted With Top Accolade

Killyleagh student Conan Mulraine sees the competition as a unique opportunity to practice what he has learnt throughout his studies and to observe the work produced by other colleges. He said that “the preparation has been intense but I am looking forward to the experience.”

Speaking to Down News, Conan, a former pupil of  St Mary’s Primary School in Killyleagh and St Patrick’s Grammar School in Downpatrick, added: “The courses I have applied for at university level are pharmacy, pharmacuetical biosciences, and two courses in biomedical science and one in biomedical engineering.

“I hope to get a honours degree one day in one of these chosen subjects before hopefully progressing onto a post-graduate study in medicine.

“I choose applied science as science has always been of great interest for me since a very young early age. It  has always been the field which I have wanted to study and some day work in.

“My favourite areas of applied science would be the biomedical module, microbiology and getentics and gentic engineering along with the chemistry modules. But I really enjoyed all aspects of the Applied Science course at SERC. The course is called the Extended Diploma in Applied Science (medical).

“Also I love to trawl the Internet looking at science subjects and websites i would often use are a page called  ‘i love science‘ and I also subscribe to a magazine called Science Uncovered.  I am also a student member of the society of biology.

“Charlles Darwin would be my favourite scientist because of his controversial concepts and theories and his will to overcome the opposition which he faced when publishing his work.

“As for where I will hopefully work one day, I am very hopeful that I will have my own company in the pharmaceutical buisness,  but  would like to do research work in some companies such as Almac based in Craigavon.

“Personally, I would like to leave this country and work in countries such as Holland and Denmark,  however this is not in the immediate future.

To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555, visit or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.