Last Friday secondary school students from across Louth who exhibited projects in the BT Young Scientists Exhibition were honoured in Dundalk IT.
The student’s achievements were celebrated by family, friends and special guests including Professor Tony Scott, co-founder of the BT Young Scientists Competition who gave the key note address.
“I am always in awe of you young people,” said Professor Tony Scott, co-founder of the BT Young Scientists Competition. “I always wonder would I have had the courage to do what you do when I was younger.”
Professor Scott went on to praise local teachers who had provided the much needed support for the students.
“Teachers are fantastic, the reason I myself got involved in science is because of one of my teachers who went on to become my colleague.
“The young students here are the heroes and the teachers are the driving force behind them.”
Professor Scott was also delighted to announce that BT have guaranteed another two years of the Young Scientists Exhibition.
“Next year I want to see the winner of the Young Scientist Exhibition come from Louth,” he concluded.
Also present to congratulate the students was MEP Mairead McGuinness, Senator Jim D’Arcy, Seanad Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Mr. Denis Cummins President Dundalk IT and Dr. Edel Healy, Head of the School of Health and Science at Dundalk IT.
Mairead McGuinness said the projects gave the public the opportunity to see “what the brains of Louth are like.”
“Never be afraid to ask questions,” said the Louth MEP, “Unless we have people who want to answer questions we will not have a basis to make good decisions and choices.”
The Louth MEP went onto say that she was especially impressed by Bush students Stephen Woods, Conor Ryan and Stephen Lynch who developed the Moo Boot, a protective and healing boot for cattle.
There were an interesting array of projects from Bush Post Primary School including Nicola Bolton, Kayleigh Brady and Roisin Keating’s project which looked at virtual stoning - a new trend on social media, Zac Heatly, Kieron O’Connor and Emmet Hughes looked at developing a device to safely sterilise money in cash registers with their project, “Cha-Ching” while Kevin Murphy carryied out research to determine Cooley people’s views on mixed martial arts and GAA.
St Vincent’s Secondary School also showcased a range of talent with five projects in total exhibited at the competition including Aoife Begley’s project, “Slip or non-slip. That is the question”, Rachael Ni Dhonnachada who conducted an investigation into the effects of wrist rotation and elbow flair on a punches velocity in competitive karate, Sarah Begley conducted an investigative project to find out if restless legs syndrome actually exists or if it is just a myth, Aoibhin Sally, Aiveen O’Callaghan and Grainne Smyth examined the possible variations on alcohol concentration in different batches of home brewed beer and Dara Goss and Megan Crilly examined the effect of yoga on blood pressure and the heart.
St Louis Principal Siobhán Greer has guided hundreds of students to the BT Young Scientist in her thirty years working in the school and this year is no different.
The school exhibited four projects this year which included Melissa Lawrence, Ciara McQuallian and Caoimhe Kerley’s project on caffeine intake and sleep patterns, Kathlin Carolan Conlon and Megan Martin Muckian who conducted an investigation of players who use video games, Eimer Magee and Ellen Edwards who developed a new educational tool for learning about the immune system and Aoife McDonnell who looked at lipoprotein lipase and its activity in bovine milk.
Meanwhile the De La Salle, which is well known for producing scientific brains, sent over ten students to the exhibition in Dublin.
Tiernan Mc Gurk and Mohammed Beshr’s project looked at caffeine levels in different types of tea, Fiach Murphy produced a follow-up investigation into into bullying, both in public and private schools, Michael Mullen’s project looked at how colour affects how long a minute lasts, John Byrne and Christopher O’Hagan studied how the upbringing of the past three generations differ from each other and Cian Murphy and Ronan O’Shea looked at methods to create a seal for food products that acts as a timer.
This is the second year that Dundalk IT have hosted Louth’s Young Scientists and the exhibition was open to the public who could view the intriguing and diverse range of projects.
All students were also presented commemorative medals for their projects from Senator Jim D’Arcy.
Senator D’Arcy concluded the ceremony by telling the students how he used to plant onions in the land that DkIT is built on as a child.
“I used to plants seeds here on this land,” said Senator D’Arcy, “And that is what is happening here today, we are planting seeds, but in a different way.”