Four students have been selected to represent Ireland at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
Aaron Hannon (St Muredach's College, Ballina, Co. Mayo), Alicia Huntley (Regent House School, Newtownards, Co.Down), Diarmuid O'Donoghue (Ashton School, Blackrock Road, Cork), and Michael (Yuan Hong, Methodist College, Malone Road, Belfast) were selected on the basis of two selection rounds in Dublin City University over the last six months. They will be accompanied by Ireland mentors, Dr Cormac Quigley (GMIT) and Asst Professor Mercedes Vasquez (DCU).
Since competing their Leaving Certificate and A-levels, the team have been participating in a full time training schedule in DCU tackling specific topics in chemistry with expert staff. Many thanks to the staff from the School of Chemical Sciences who have assisted in preparing the team, namely: Professors James Walsh, Anthony Reilly, Emma Coyle, Mercedes Vasquez, Pat O’Malley, Apryll Stalcup, Vickie McKee and Odilla Finlayson and the technical support provided by Aisling McCarthy and John McLoughlin.
IChO is a competition involving approximately 80 countries where second-level chemistry students complete individually in practical and theoretical chemical tasks. Ireland has participated in the IChO since 1997 and has achieved to date 17 Bronze Olympic medals and 2 Silver Olympic medals as well as 8 highly commended awards. This is a remarkable achievement for our gifted and talented Irish students in Chemistry.
Wishing the team every success, Professor Odilla Finlayson, CASTeL Science Olympiad Co-ordinator in DCU, highlighted the importance of the Olympiads in encouraging participation in Chemistry at second level and for providing opportunity for these talented and enthusiastic students to pursue excellence in their chosen discipline. Prof Finlayson also acknowledged the Department of Education and Skills (North-South Co-operation Section) and the RSC for financial support.
Pictured (L-R): Dr Cormac Quigley (GMIT,) Asst Professor Mercedes Vasquez (DCU), Aaron Hannon, St Muredach's College, Ballina, Co. Mayo; Alicia Huntley, Regent House School, Newtownards, Co.Down; Michael Yuan Hong, Methodist College, Malone Road, Belfast and Diarmuid O'Donoghue, Ashton School, Blackrock Road, Cork