EsatBT Young Scientist – Mary Ennis and Billy Fehin Enter

Scientific Research at Hazelwood College
Preparing for the Young Scientist Exhibition
By: Mary Ennis and Billy Fehin, Transition Year Students of Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher

We began preparing our Young Scientist project in September when our chemistry teacher, Ms. Neville brought us in an article she had read in the Limerick Leader. The minute we read it we were instantly fascinated. The article was in relation to Elephant Grass or Miscanthus as it is scientifically known. Miscanthus is a perennial low- input, high-output crop that has great biomass energy potential and loves soil with high water retention properties. Basically that means that Miscanthus is a type of grass, never before successfully grown in Ireland, that requires very little work to farm but has huge potential to become a new type of environmentally friendly fuel. It loves wet boggy land which is why the grass is growing very successfully in Adare. We went on to the internet hoping to find some research material in relation to our project. We were surprised to find millions of pages relating to Miscanthus. We spent weeks reading through the material with the help of our teacher who was always there to give us new ideas and motivation when we needed it. For the practical side of the project we began by visiting Joe Hogan, the farmer who featured in the article. Joe was a wealth of information and on a cold morning in November he happily explained to us how he got started and why he decided to invest so much of his time into his crop. At this stage all of the information we were gathering was starting to make sense. We then went on to spend a full day in the University of Limerick testing the Miscanthus we had taken fresh from Joes farm. This was a great learning experience in itself as we were using chemicals and equipment that we had never heard of before. Mr. JJ Leahy, an industrial chemistry professor in UL was a great help to us on the day as he also has a keen interest in the Miscanthus phenomen. He also works closely with Joe Hogan so it was a great privilege to be working alongside him testing for such things as its Kilogram Calorific Value and Nutrients. So now as the Young Scientist Exhibition draws closer it seems the end is in sight. The project has taken four months of hard work and dedication but it has been a fantastic learning experience and was certainly worth the effort.

Click picture below to view article from Limerick Leader 15th January 2005

You’re a Star – RTE



TO 53600

Hazelwood College Student – Maire Ide De Bhal

Maire Ide De Bhal one of the members of the band ‘George Girl’ is a student at Hazelwood College. The was formed as part of the singer/ songwriter workshops in Killarney by the judges and producers of the show. It comprises of Maire Ide De Bhal and two other girls – Sarah Goodwin from Ballincollig, Co. Cork and Julie Cunnane from Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Most recently Maire Ide starred as the narrator in the school musical ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’. She is seen here photographed preforming in the musical and with the cast of the show. (click on photos to enlarge )

Limerick Leader Articale 15th January 2005

You’re A Star contestants hope Eurovision spot is signed, sealed and delivered

NEXT week’s 17th birthday of Máire Íde de Bhál from Feenagh might be the happiest of her life, as she again showcases before a huge national audience on You’re a Star.

And the students’ council at her school, Hazlewood College, Dromcollogher, is now liaising with the other VEC schools and colleges in a co-ordinated push for text and e-mail votes for next Sunday’s second elimination concert on RTÉ1.

Already, colour posters have been placed in schools, bars and discos, seeking support for the only Limerick contestant to have reached the finals in the competition to choose Ireland’s representative act at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev in May.

Daughter of Máire and Bertie Wall, the young accordion player and harpist reached the final stages of the competition and, last Sunday, easily got through the televised first elimination round at Dublin’s Helix Theatre at DCU.

She is one of a three-girl group, George, who came second in Sunday’s voting.

But, before she got to the finals at all, Máire Íde had to audition in Limerick and then undergo a gruelling week-long workshop with voice trainers, choreographers and stylists in Killarney, before emerging as part of one of the final 12 acts.

“Killarney was hectic, but we enjoyed it,” she said this week.

The judges, Hazel Kaneswaran, Barbara Galavan and Dave Fanning, gave three individual entrants, including Máire Íde, the opportunity to form a vocal group in just one day and prove themselves worthy of a place in the final stages.

Máire Íde, with Julie Cunane 19 from Dundalk and Sarah Goodwin 16 from Cork, had to pick a song, learn its words, arrange harmonies, learn a choreographed dance routine and co-ordinate outfits for a stage presentation to a large audience in the Gleneagles Hotel. Calling themselves George, they selected Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Deliveredâ and convinced the judges they have what it takes to go through.

And so, this Sunday, as the elimination finals continue at 6.30 on RTÉ1, it will be down to text and e-votes to see whether Feenagh’s youngest star will take another step towards the great night in Kiev.

About the School

Hazelwood College is situated at Kells Cross, just outside of Dromcollogher. It opened it’s doors to students for the first time in September 2002. The €6 million development is a major scoop for the area and it is a tribute to the hard work of Principal Liam Lenihan and his dedicated staff.

School Building

Overlooking the town, the school is situated on an eleven acre site. The playing area consists of a full size G.A.A. field which is complimented by a hard surface area which is used for soccer, basketball and tennis.

A roadway surrounds the school facilitating the delivery and collection of students from the school. A new footpath has been laid down from the school to the town.

These fully resourced areas are inside the school building:

  • assembly area,
  • science rooms,
  • demonstration rooms,
  • general classrooms,
  • geography room,
  • mechanical drawing,
  • language laboratory
  • library
  • art room
  • technology room
  • engineering room
  • music department
  • computer rooms
  • PE hall.
School Entrance

Extra Curricular Activities

Outdoor Pursuits:

Hazelwood College has a long standing association with two outdoor education centres, Kilfinnane OEC, Co. Limerick and Capanalea OEC, Co. Kerry. There are a number of excursions organised throughout the year as part of the Transition Year and the Leaving Cert Applied Programme. There is also a weekend trip organised for first year students as part of their introduction to Hazelwood College. On these weekends students learn a number of new skills such as rock climbing, kayaking, hillwalking, abseiling, orienteering and campcraft. These weekends are not only a learning experience but are also great fun and hugely popular with our students.


Debating and Quizzes

Debating is an important part of the extra curricular activities at Hazelwood College. Students are given the opportunity to participate in debates both in the classroom and in debating competitions against other schools.

Public Speaking

Many of our students are involved in public speaking both in competition and as part of the transition where they are working to be awarded a toastmasters certificate.


Music is not only part of the curriculum at Hazelwood College but students also enjoy taking part in musical events outside of the classroom. In recent years Mr. Sheehan has organised students in the production of a number of musicals and variety shows including ‘Cats’, ‘Oliver’, ‘Grease’, ‘The Sound of Music’ and most recently ‘Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat’


Chess and Board Games

Indoor games have become extremely popular with students flocking to the library at lunch to play a variety of board games. Last year the chess club and the school was delighted with its success as they defeated all their opponents from other schools around the county.Students were coached in techniques within the school. All 1st year students were also involved in a draughts tournament which was a great event and proved to be a great competition right up to the final last May.

Chess at Lunchtime