What’s it all About?

We want to promote innovation

To reward and promote innovation in Drogheda secondary school students.

An innovation is the development of a new or better way of doing something. It may be an improvement on an existing process, or a small modification or change that can make a big difference.

Most of all it is about original thought and using your skills and knowledge to progress or advance something.

Innovators make things happen and change the world we live in. They are hard working, persistent and believe in their ability.

Innovations can be small or big, but their effect is always to make change.

The world needs innovators. Innovators save lives, invent new drugs, make things faster, smaller and more efficient. Innovators create jobs, wealth and improve the world we live in.

This year we decided to change the format of the well-known DYI competition and focus on completing challenges across headings including mental and physical health, social interactions within each family, business, innovation, technology and self-development. The new 35-day video challenge format allows students to participate in the competition from home and gives them an opportunity to learn and develop new skills in a fun and friendly environment.

Are you ready for a challenge?

New Format

We will be sending each school a list of challenges which are presented in the form of a "to-do list" or a "challenge" (team or individual). All tasks will be separated into different sections such as Environment, Drogheda Community, Mental and Physical Health, etc. and each task will have a value of points attached to it, based on the time and effort required to fulfil it.

Who can apply

Applications are open to students attending the following schools:

  • Drogheda Grammar School
  • Our Lady’s College
  • Sacred Heart Secondary School
  • St. Joseph’s Secondary School
  • St. Mary’s Diocesan School
  • St. Oliver’s Community College
  • Ballymakenny College
  • Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer
  • Coláiste na hInse, Bettystown

Participation Process

Between 22 February and 29 March 2021, participants must tick off a selection (at least 15 of over 50 potential challenges) of completed challenges and film the process of each task completion on their phone/camera. A compilation of these videos will have to be assembled into a film. The end result, i.e. a film of approximately 5 minutes in length, will be uploaded onto a private YouTube page by each participant/team for remote judging.

Participants should state their name and school(s), and mention the specific challenge they’re completing, at the commencement of each video.

All participants should adhere to their school’s safety policy and to directives from the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills.

We will hold a Zoom session for entrants mid-way through the application process. This will be an opportunity to discuss any technical or other potential issues. We may also hold a training session (video and/or technology) and have a guest speaker.

Using the hashtag #DYI2021 when posting on 1) Facebook, 2) Twitter or 3) Instagram will give participants extra points. Our team will be tracking hashtag activity across the three platforms above.

Judging Process

Judges will use a shared cloud document to score each participant, based on scoring criteria below. Each judge gets a dedicated column alongside other judges’ personalised fields for scoring. Participant names and links to their videos will be presented on the left of the table. After scores are assigned in all columns (i.e., by all judges), a total can be calculated for each participant on the same document.

Bonus points will be awarded for social media shout-outs and dedicated hashtag usage. (One point for each instance where one of the above is used. These will accumulate over the period of competition and will be tracked and noted by our team members.)

Scoring Criteria

The maximum marks for each criteria are as follows:

  • Innovation/Evidence of new skills learned. New ideas developed from challenges, unexpected outcomes - 30%
  • Evidence of teamwork and effective delegation (all team members equally involved and have distinct tasks/roles to help project completion). Collaboration with family members, teachers, fellow classmates. Utilisation of external resources (e.g. collaboration, interviews over Zoom with local organisations, national or international influencers) - 20%
  • Number of Challenges completed – Degree of difficulty, challenges across categories - 20%
  • Creativity – unique approach, video stands out among others. Film quality (good image and sound, appropriate length, level of editing, clarity of information, extra features, e.g. music/text/visual effects, etc.) - 15%
  • Local Impact – changes and influence on school / Greater Drogheda region - 15%

Competition Final

Submitted films will be analysed for the above criteria and evidence of ‘outside-the-box’ thinking. Ten individuals or teams with highest total scores will be picked as finalists.

Two teams and two individuals will receive additional cash prizes – team members will share the prize among themselves, based on the number of participants.

The total prize pool is €2000.

All ten finalists will receive a €100 cash prize.

There will be additional prizes for:

  • ‘Best Individual’ submission: €100
  • ‘Runner-up Individual’ submission: €50
  • ‘Best Team’ submission: €400
  • ‘Runner-Up Team’ submission: €250
  • 4 x €50 prizes across finalists & non-finalists (most innovative, funniest video, most entries from any school, most developed idea etc). Judges may determine additional prizes.

There will be one overall winner declared (either team or individual) – Additional €200.

An individual can win up to €400 (Finalist prize, Best Individual and Overall Winner).

A team can win up to €750 (Finalist prize, Best Team and Overall Winner).

Award Ceremony

Shortlisted teams and individuals will be invited to an online video award ceremony. (We might extend the invitation to all entrants, depending on technology limitations).

As the film length is set to an average of 5 minutes, 10 shortlisted participants will be invited to the ceremony. A 2-hour session (includes break) will allow for 50 minutes of videos, participant introductions, judges’ commentary and the actual winner announcement.

Each team or individual will present their film to videocall attendees via “screenshare”, introducing themselves to judges and participants from other schools and giving a brief overview of the finished project (challenges, things learned along the way, advantages of completing tasks etc.).

The judges will meet beforehand to score the 10 finalists but will have discretion to make final alterations to scoring, based on students’ presentations. The ceremony is predominantly held for entertainment and to allow judges to explain their choice of winners.

Benefits for Students

  • 30-day challenges are highly motivating for achieving goals
  • Teamwork, delegation and communications skills – mainly offline
  • Collaboration between students and teachers
  • Spending quality time with the family, good memories
  • Improved mental & physical health
  • Practice of thinking outside the box
  • Fun activities to do during lockdown
  • Film recording and editing techniques
  • Having their say in school upgrade/town development
  • Exploring a big variety of topics within one competition (environment, health, art, science, business, social enterprise etc.)

Timetable

Challenges to be completed by students between 22 February and 29 March 2021.

An online 60-minute Zoom session will be held during the week commencing 15 March 2021. This may include a training session (on topics such as video editing or technology) and a guest speaker.

Final videos are to be uploaded by students by 16 April 2021.

Judging will take place during the week commencing 19 April 2021.

The final will take place on Friday 30 April 2021.

List of Challenges

You can download the list of challenges here:
Download List of Challenges

You can download the full instructions and the list of challenges here:
Download Instructions & List of Challenges

Application Form

You can apply here:
Apply

Contact us

Questions?

If you have questions you can email us:
admin@themilldrogheda.ie

Or join us on facebook:
facebook.com/DroghedaYoungInnovators

Or follow us on twitter:
twitter.com/DroghedaYoungInnovators

Latest News

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2019

Date: Friday 17 May 2019

Drogheda Young Innovators 2019 Overall Winners

Pictured above are Drogheda Young Innovators overall winners of 2019, Seb Lennon, Matthew Weir, Callum Agnew and Keith Woods from St. Mary’s Diocesan School, for their project "Music and Memory".

On Friday, 17th May, the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) Competition Final for secondary school students took place at Coca-Cola International Services offices in Southgate Shopping Centre. Fifteen shortlisted projects were reviewed in detail by the judges from Coca-Cola International Services, Fitz Scientific, State Street and The Mill Enterprise Hub. The overall winners were a team from St. Mary’s Diocesan School who impressed judges with their social enterprise project, “Music and Memory”.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the three categories (Science/Technology, Business and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries. This is the sixth year of the awards which focus on all aspects of innovation and has become an integral part of the local school curriculum. Organised by a voluntary group of local business leaders, teachers and The Mill Enterprise Hub, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise or business. This year also saw applications from Phase Innovate, a not-for-profit organisation that provides technology entrepreneurship education for the underrepresented communities in tech through hands-on training and a structured mentoring system.

Over the course of the competition, the winning students from “Music and Memory” visited patients with Alzheimer’s disease in Tredagh Lodge Day Care Centre in Drogheda and St. Mary’s Nursing Home, and created personalised music playlists for each patient in order to demonstrate the ability of music to combat memory loss and restore a sense of self to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The judges were extremely impressed that the community of Drogheda got behind this initiative by donating unwanted CDs, MP3 players and money through a Go Fund Me page. The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland officially recognised “Music and Memory” when their CEO interviewed students on LMFM radio station.

According to Breanndán Casey, BDM of The Mill Enterprise, “The Music and Memory project has been a great success and the students are now working with twelve other schools to roll out the concept across the country. This competition has gone from strength to strength each year, and with 65% of applications in the Social Enterprise category, we can see the level of interest from local teenagers in topics like mental health, environment and recycling, which is very inspiring, to say the least. We work with our partners State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse and Fitz Scientific to visit all nine schools in the region to highlight the innovation that is currently occurring locally and to ensure that students have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles”.

“It was great to have the diverse range of ideas this year, and more importantly, to see how the students have worked on their ideas over the past three months”, said Anna Keller of Coca-Cola International Services, “We also had 60 students attend a Workshop at The Mill in April which gave students an opportunity to work on their projects and receive real feedback from students and judges. It was great to see last year’s Business category winner, ‘Makes Cents’ from Sacred Heart school return to give an inspiring talk on how they recently launched their teenage prepaid card with support from Prepaid Financial Services in Navan.”

During the final, Julie Plunkett of Coca-Cola International Services launched their 2019 “Thank You Fund” which offers €100,000 of support for inspirational youth projects across Ireland. Grants of €5,000, €10,000 and €30,000 will be awarded to the winning projects. The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has supported projects including community, social and education programmes aimed at youth, healthy and active lifestyles and environmental leadership. To date €955,000 has been given to 83 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland.

Drogheda Young Innovators 2018 Sponsors

The overall winners of the 2019 Drogheda Young Innovators competition, Seb Lennon, Matthew Weir, Keith Woods and Callum Agnew from St. Mary’s Diocesan School, pictured with the judges and organisers of the competition

The 2019 winners who received their certificates and cash prizes included:

  • “Music and Memory” – Overall winner of DYI 2019, St Mary’s Diocesan School
  • “Breagain” – Business Group Category, Ballymakenny College
  • “Randomly Marbled” – Business Individual Category, Drogheda Grammar School
  • “Live My Life” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Phase Innovate
  • “Music and Memory” – Social Enterprise Group Category, St Mary’s Diocesan School
  • “Lives without imagery” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Mathematical Sequences” - Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2018

Date: Friday 11 May 2018

Drogheda Young Innovators 2018 Overall Winners

Lisa Duffy and Karen Lynch from State Street with the Drogheda Young Innovators winners of 2018, George O’Carroll and Hugo Collins

On Friday 11 May, the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) Competition Final for secondary school students took place at Coca-Cola International Services offices in Southgate Shopping Centre. Twenty shortlisted projects from the original forty-four applications, were reviewed in detail by the judges from Coca-Cola International Services, State Street, Fitz Scientific, The Mill Enterprise Hub, and Bricks4Kidz Louth. The overall winners were George O’Carroll and Hugo Collins, students at Drogheda Grammar School, who impressed judges with their social enterprise project, “Storyboard”.

Storyboard was created by George and Hugo as learning tools used to help people with autism deal with anxiety in everyday life. They list out the exact steps that are taken when performing everyday tasks or going to new places e.g. going to the barbers. These are currently freely available in the Arc cinema, Southgate Barbers, Drogheda Leisure Park and in a few other places in Drogheda.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the three categories (Science/Technology, Business, and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries. This is the fifth year of the awards which focus on all aspects of innovation and have become an integral part of the local school curriculum.

According to Breanndán Casey, BDM of The Mill Enterprise, “This competition has gone from strength to strength each year, and with forty-four applications, it’s fair to say that innovation is alive and well in Drogheda. We work with our partners State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse, Bricks4Kidz and Fitz Scientific to visit all nine schools in the region to highlight the innovation that is currently occurring locally, and to ensure that students have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles”.

Alison Cowzer of East Coast Bakehouse was one of the judges and commented “I am extremely impressed by the innovation on display today across all three categories, and some of the applicants would not be out of place on Dragons’ Den. Based on the level of innovation displayed, Drogheda’s future is very bright”. Alison also told the students to put aside the question of what they want to be in the future and focus on what they enjoy doing and what they are good at – by doing so, they will truly excel in their future careers and entrepreneurial endeavours.

Drogheda Young Innovators 2018 Sponsors

Organised by a voluntary group of local business people, teachers and The Mill Enterprise Hub, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise, or business.

The 2018 winners who received their certificates and cash prizes included:

  • “Storyboard” – Overall winner of DYI 2018, Drogheda Grammar School - George O’Carroll & Hugo Collins
  • “Makes Cents Prepaid Card” – Business Group Category, Sacred Heart Secondary School
  • “Handii”– Business Group Category, St Mary’s Diocesan School
  • “Ovea Soap” – Business Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Get a girl through a day” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Hele-Shaw Cell Experiment” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills - Sorcha McGeown

The TY students at Drogheda Grammar School will also receive a workshop from Bricks4Kidz, focusing on STEM using LEGO as a fun and practical way of learning.

“It was great to have the diverse range of ideas this year, and more importantly, to see how the students have worked on their ideas over the past three months” said Anna Keller of Coca-Cola International Services. “We also had eighty students attend a workshop at The Mill in April which gave students an opportunity to work on their projects and receive real feedback from students and judges.”

“We expect at least one in ten of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. He continued “The applicants have already displayed great initiative and innovation, and the DYI project gives them a fantastic opportunity to work on ideas and interact with like-minded students and entrepreneurs”.

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2017

Date: Friday 12 May 2017

Drogheda Young Innovators 2017 Overall Winner

On Friday 12 May, the Drogheda Young Innovators (DYI) Competition Final for secondary school students took place at East Coast Bakehouse’s Centre of Innovation. Twenty shortlisted projects from the original 100 applications, were reviewed in detail by the judges. The overall winner was Blathnaid Murphy (pictured above with Geoff Fitzpatrick), a student at Our Lady’s College, Greenhills, who impressed judges with her business, “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties”. Blathnaid, at twelve years of age, is the youngest winner of the DYI competition.

Prizes were also awarded in each of the three categories (Science/Technology, Business, and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries. This is the fourth year of the awards which focus on all aspects of Innovation.

According to Breanndán Casey, BDM of The Mill Enterprise, “This competition has gone from strength to strength each year, and with circa 100 applications, it’s fair to say that Innovation is alive and well in Drogheda. We work with our partners State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse and Fitz Scientific to visit all nine schools in the region to highlight the innovation that is currently occurring locally, and to ensure that students have an opportunity to flex their creative muscles”.

Over 50 students had an opportunity to question a panel of local innovators including Alison Cowzer of East Coast Bakehouse / Dragon’s Den, Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific, Cormac Bohan of State Street, and Sean MacEntee of The Mill Enterprise on starting and growing a business, and how to ensure that innovation remains a focal point of your business. Alison Cowzer of East Coat Bakehouse commented “I am extremely impressed by the innovation on display today across all three categories. The standard is very high, and I can see how the judges had an extremely difficult process to pick the winners. Based on the level of innovation displayed, Drogheda’s future is very bright”.

Organised by a voluntary group of local business people, teachers and The Mill Enterprise Hub, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise or business. The 2017 winners who received their certificates and cash prizes included:

  • “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties” – Overall winner of DYI 2017, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills - Blathnaid Murphy
  • “Daisy’s Pawsome Bowties”– Business Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills - Blathnaid Murphy
  • “YAMA music portfolio” – Business Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Help Bees – Throw Seeds” – Social Enterprise Individual Category, Scoil Uí Mhuiri - Patrick Dorian
  • “Totem” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Drogheda Grammar School
  • “The antimicrobial potential of tree bark extracts” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills - Niamh Ann Kelly
  • “Edible insects for sustainable future” – Science Group Category, St. Oliver’s Community College

“It was great to have the diverse range of ideas this year, and more importantly, to see how the students have worked on their ideas over the past three months”, says Sean MacEntee, a Director at The Mill Enterprise Centre, “We also had 80 students attend the Innovation Workshop at Coca-Cola in March which gave students an opportunity to work on the innovation process.

“We expect at least 1 in 10 of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. He continued “Blathnaid has already won a National Student Enterprise Award, and is the youngest winner of this competition. In the future, I’ve no doubt that these students will be employing people in Drogheda and making a very positive contribution to the local economy and community. This project gives them an opportunity to work on ideas and interact with like-minded students and entrepreneurs.”

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2016

Date: Thursday 12 May 2016

Drogheda Young Innovators 2016 Winners

On Thursday, 12 May, the Drogheda Young Innovators Competition Final for transition year students took place at East Coast Bakehouse’s new Centre of Innovation. Twenty-one projects were shortlisted from the initial 52 applications, and prizes were awarded in each of the three categories (Science, Business and Social Enterprise) for both individual and team entries, and one overall competition prize. This is the third year of the awards which focus on all aspects of innovation.

Over 50 students heard businesswoman, and Dragon from RTE’s Dragon’s Den, Alison Cowzer, speak on innovation, and the process of creating a new biscuit production facility. Alison is co-founder and Marketing / Innovation Director of East Coast Bakehouse, Ireland’s only large scale biscuit manufacturing business, based in Drogheda. Alison told the students that they should be proud of their achievements, and that, based on her conversations with them, she was confident that many of them will have significant achievements in the future, “I am extremely impressed by the innovation on display today across all three categories. The standard is very high, and I’m not surprised that the judges found it so difficult to pick the winners. Based on the level of innovation displayed, Drogheda’s future is very bright”

Organised by a voluntary group of teachers and local business people, the competition challenges Drogheda’s students to think about an innovating career in science, social enterprise or business. The winners include:

  • “Flashdiscs” – Overall winner of DYI 2016, Drogheda Grammar School (pictured above)
  • “First Year Starter Pack” – Business Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Goaty Goodness” – Business Group Category, Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer
  • “BMC Digital Workshop” – Social Enterprise Individual Category, Ballymakenny College
  • “How You Doin’?” – Social Enterprise Group Category, Ballymakenny College
  • “Investigation of Glitter Paths” – Science Individual Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
  • “Puppy Planner” – Science Individual Category, St. Joseph’s CBS
  • “A Comparative Study of invertebrates that inhabit tree bark at night” – Science Group Category, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills

“The Drogheda Young Innovators competition has been a success over the past few years”, says Breanndán Casey, the BDM of The Mill Enterprise Centre, “This year the programme is being supported by some innovative local companies, such as State Street, Coca-Cola International Services, East Coast Bakehouse, Fitz Scientific, Paycheck Plus and MOR Solutions. It is great to see local companies showing their support to youth entrepreneurship projects in Drogheda and fantastic that we can highlight innovation that is taking place every day in our community”.

The format of the competition changed this year, which resulted in a higher number of applications and greater support for local innovative companies. In March, more than 80 students attended an Innovation Workshop organised by the Coca-Cola International Services team in Drogheda. The students availed of an opportunity to work on their ideas for the Drogheda Young Innovators competition, and to practice some divergent and convergent thinking as part of the brainstorming process.

“At least 1 in 10 of Drogheda’s students will be running their own business when they finish education” says Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific. He continued “We want to encourage them and reward their enterprise. In the future, they will be employing people in Drogheda and making a very positive contribution to the local economy and community.”

Drogheda Young Innovators - Award Winners Update

Date: Monday 22 February 2016

Both Elle Loughran and Anna McEvoy of Our Lady’s College Greenhills have represented Drogheda and Ireland abroad in various youth entrepreneurship initiatives.

In January 2016 Elle Loughran launched her own website www.tigertunity.com which aims to help second and third-level students to find work opportunities, scholarships and competitions . She also attended the Outbox Incubator programme in London last August for females making a valuable contribution to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2015

Date: Friday 15 May 2015

Drogheda Young Innovators 2015 Winner Elle Loughran

On Friday 15 May, eighteen students from St. Mary’s Secondary School, Our Lady’s College Greenhills and Coláiste na hInse Secondary School attended the prize-giving ceremony hosted at The Mill Enterprise Hub.

Drogheda Young Innovators is a competition to reward and promote innovation amongst secondary school students in Drogheda. This is the second year of the awards which focus on all aspects of Innovation. The awards were established by serial entrepreneur Geoff Fitzpatrick, in partnership with The Mill.

Applications from individuals and groups were judged in three categories:

  • Science and Technology ; a technical or scientific innovation
  • Enterprise / Business ; a new business idea
  • Social Enterprise ; a non-profit innovation that will change our society

Two individual and four group winners were chosen, with an overall winner, Elle Loughran (pictured above) from Our Lady’s College, receiving a cash prize of €300 for her Science project "Novel graphene functionalization to detect attraction".

The other winners included:

  • Niamh Kelly (Our Lady’s College) – Social Enterprise Individual Winner with the project “An investigation of mathematical concepts and connections in a garden”
  • Orla Molloy and Neasa Early (Our Lady’s College) – Science Group Winners with their project on “Mathematical analysis of number patterns in winning draws in the national lottery”
  • Lucy Murray, Aoife Mc Auley, Sean Mortalo and Alanna Hogan (Coláiste na hInse) – Business Group Winners with their project “Dear Santa”
  • Ben Pentony, Kevin Doyle, Dylan O’Rourke and Thomas Monk (St. Mary’s) – Business Group Winners with their project “The Chopping Board Co”
  • Leighton Egan, Ben Mooney, Killian Kierans, Darragh Beirth, Dean Gunnery and Lee Mc Guiness (Coláiste na hInse) – Social Enterprise Group Winners with their project “Cosy Capall”

For a full list of the 2015 winners of the Drogheda Young Innovators Competition click below:
2015 Winners

Last year’s winner, Anna McEvoy went on to win a trip to attend and exhibit at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where she has just won the 1st Place Monsanto Company Special Award.

Drogheda Young Innovators Awards 2014

Date: Saturday 3 May 2014

Drogheda Young Innovators 2014 Award Ceremony

Anna McEvoy, pictured above, a 17-year-old student at Our Lady’s College in Greenhills, Drogheda, was awarded the title of ‘Sentinus Young Innovator 2014’ for her project ‘Aetiology of bleeding canker disease of Horse Chestnut trees’.

Anna conducted research into the presence of bleeding canker on horse chestnut trees throughout Ireland and used an investigative method to identify the causal agent.

For her award Anna will receive an all-expenses paid trip to attend and exhibit at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2014 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Her teacher, Ms Frances O’Regan, also received the Intel Educator of Excellence award and an all-expenses paid trip to attend at Intel ISEF 2014.

For a full list of the 2014 winners of the Drogheda Young Innovators Competition click below:
2014 Winners

In 2014 more than 120 schools from the primary, secondary and special education sectors competed in the Sentinus Young Innovators event which took place in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast and was attended by more than 3,000 young people.