Limerick students take 33 Young Scientist awards

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DSC_0089TALENTED and creative Limerick students took home 33 awards from last week’s 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at Dublin’s RDS.

Ardscoil Ris, St Nessan’s Community College, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh and Castletroy College were among the city schools to scoop awards at the prestigious science fair.

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County schools to feature on the list of prizewinners included: Coláiste Chiarain, Croom; Salesian Secondary College, Pallaskenry; Hazelwood College, Dromcollogher; Desmond College, Newcastle West; Coláiste Mhuire, Askeaton; John The Baptist Community School, Hospital; and Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock.

Top Limerick award winners were Robert Corby and Adrian Kelly, two third year students at Pallaskenry Salesian College who took first place in the Intermediate Technology Category for their innovative ‘Pulse Oximeter‘ device which measures a person’s pulse and the oxygen saturation levels in their blood.

As part of their entry, Robert and Adrian created a mobile web page where results can be uploaded and monitored by doctors and patients. According to the judging panel, the device has the potential to help deliver medical diagnoses to patients in remote poorly equipped hospitals in developing countries.

To add to the Pallaskenry school’s success, fifth year students Sheila Ryan and Anna Flannery were presented with a special award for their communication skills in the presentation of their project ‘Nutritional content of horsemeat versus other meats’ while Transition Year students, Lauren Frawley, Emily Hannon and Emma Moloney  received a display award for their project ‘Addition of Iodine to the drinking water of lactating cows’.

According to BT Ireland chief executive Colm O’Neill, this year’s Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition was the most “exceptional” to date.

“Over the years the exhibition has proven to be an important launch pad for the next wave of entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and technologists; people who will be fundamental in addressing the global skills shortage. For that reason, we cannot underestimate the importance of this exhibition in encouraging our young students to pursue careers in science and technology,” he added.

1,165 students from 210 schools nationwide, covering 550 projects, competed at the 2014 exhibition in Dublin’s RDS last week.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn commended the participants for their “talent, creativity and enthusiasm” and said “it signals a positive insight into the future of this country”.

“We need to nurture this young talent, show them the opportunities available here in our world-class universities and encourage them to be a part of Ireland’s bright future”, he said.