Technology and Design Success: ‘Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017’

Congratulations to former Grosvenor Grammar School pupil Gareth Reid who received two prominent awards at the global ‘Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017’ (ISEF), held recently in Los Angeles, California from 14th - 19th May 2017.

Gareth received two highly prestigious accolades in Los Angeles: the ‘International Society for Optics and Photonics Award’ and a laudable third place in the fiercely competitive category of ‘Engineering Mechanics’; earning a total of $1500 in associated prize money through his incredible feats.                                                                                                                                                                                                Gareth’s innovative project, entitled ‘Gaze: A Low Cost, Digital Optical Device Supporting Education in the Developing World’, saw him develop an affordable, easy-to-use and portable microscope which is intended to significantly support understanding of biological science in relation to human health and disease, and could be manufactured and distributed at a cost of no more than $10.                                    

Each year students from all over the world are afforded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for a total of approximately $4 million in prizes at Intel’s renowned Science and Engineering Fair: hundreds of thousands of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs from which winners proceed to participate in Society-affiliated regional and state fairs, following which the best receive the opportunity to attend ‘Intel ISEF’, making it the largest Science and Engineering Fair on Earth. Gareth’s selection to participate in this prestigious event, against 1778 international competitors, came as a result of his work within A2 Technology and Design: he secured the ‘Intel ISEF’ Award at the 2016 ‘Sentinus Young Innovators Exhibition’, held at Ulster University in June 2016, to earn his place as the only representative from Northern Ireland present in California.

On his incredible success at the event, which featured young Scientists and Engineers from 78 different countries, regions and territories, Gareth commented: “It was a great honour for me to be able to represent Grosvenor Grammar School once again, as well as Northern Ireland, in an International Science and Engineering Fair. I was ecstatic and honoured to win such prestigious awards at the event. It was challenging, but extremely rewarding. Work on my project started at the beginning of my final school year and was my focus throughout my A-Level studies in Technology and Design. One of the additional factors in my success was undoubtedly the ongoing support from staff within the school and Sentinus. An additional note of thanks must go to Intel Ireland for their sponsorship of my participation in the event.”

Gareth was accompanied to Los Angeles by the 2016 Intel ‘Teacher of Excellence’, Grosvenor’s Head of Technology and Design Mr Sammy Taggart, who added: “The work on display at ISEF is a reflection of the endeavours of some of the finest young minds across the world and truly indicative of our global potential in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” To help convey the standard of work and potential gathered at the event, he added; “previous ISEF winners hold countless international honours across STEM disciplines, including twelve Nobel Laureates who are alumni of the fair. Gareth’s success in such a competitive event has made my colleagues and I immensely proud. We look forward to watching Gareth’s inevitable innovative and entrepreneurial successes in the future. As we worked together on his project I was most impressed by Gareth’s curiosity with innovation, especially regarding emerging product design issues and sustainability, all whilst striving to solve a real-world humanitarian problem.  Competitions of this kind are an integral part of how we define Technology and Design within Grosvenor. By doing this, I believe that we are preparing our students for their future careers, starting from Key Stage 3 right though to A2.  Without a doubt our pupils step into university well ahead of their peers.  I wish Gareth well for his studies, thank him for his exceptional efforts, congratulate him on his countless successes and trust that he will stay in touch.”                                                                                                                                                                Gareth’s success at this year’s event is all the more impressive given the school’s recent history in other similar, international, engineering and design events. Already this year Year Nine pupils Alicia Gallagher, Lucy Milhench, Olivia Millar and Louisa Millar were invited to tour Silicon Valley, San Francisco as a reward for their successes with ‘Digital DNA’ following their work on ‘HeadCASE’: an app. designed to assist with the diagnosis and management of suspected concussion within schools. In addition Craig Ennis, David Dugan and Knox Wilson have also only recently returned from representing Northern Ireland at the celebrated ‘National Science and Engineering Fair’ in Birmingham, with ‘Life-Block’: a unique food distribution system capable of re-use in the building of schools, hospitals and homes across the developing world.

The GGS Technology & Design department’s catalogue of successes on the International stage positions it strongly as a major international competitor in creativity, design and engineering disciplines. Gareth is no stranger to successes of this kind and his work during Key Stages 3 and 4, with ‘Write-to-Read’ – an app to support dyslexic learners, has placed him well to further excel at this extraordinarily advanced level.                                                                      

Congratulations to Gareth, as well as Mr Taggart and his colleagues within Grosvenor’s Technology and Design Department, on his outstanding success: all at Grosvenor wish Gareth well in his future endeavors and eagerly await his next big success.

The question we ask of our current pupils is: “who’s next?”

Former Grosvenor pupil Gareth Reid flies the flag for Northern Ireland at the globally-renowned ‘Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2017’, held in Los Angeles from 14th - 19th May.

Gareth, pictured alongside Grosvenor's Head of Technology and Design Mr Sammy Taggart, displays his innovative ‘Gaze: A Low Cost, Digital Optical Device Supporting Education in the Developing World’ project at this year's Fair.