National awards for Limerick’s young scientists

Jack Kelly and Ethan Kirwan from Desmond College who won the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Senior Group category award for their project on the aeroacoustics of a swinging corrugated tube

STUDENTS from Limerick City, Newcastle West, Croom and Kilfinane were among the major prizewinners at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

Subjects as diverse as the electrolyte levels in sports drinks, the performance of solar panels and reducing errors caused by ADHD and Dyslexia featured among the award winning entries from Limerick.

Shane Shinnors, Aishling Daly, and Daniel Gammell from Scoil Pól in Kilfinane were winners of the Social and Behavioral Senior Group category for their project on Seasonal Affective Disorder, ‘Are you SAD or have you S.A.D”. They were also awarded the Irish Research Council prize for their project.

A project based on the aeroacoustics of a swinging corrugated tube won top prize in the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Senior Group category for Ethan Kirwan and Jack Kelly from Desmond College in Newcastle West.

Rosemary Lucey and Sarah-Jane Noonan from Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom were winners of the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences Junior Group category for their project examining the amount of waste in used condiment bottles. They were also winners of the Williams Lea Ireland special award.

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Desmond College also featured in the list of prizewinners when Niamh O’Mahony and Alzbeta Barisova were awarded third place in the Technology Senior Group category for developing a smart ruler that reduces errors caused by ADHD and Dyslexia.

Sarah Blade and Olivia Donohue from Scoil Pól were Highly Commended for their project in the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category which investigated the electrolyte levels of different sports drinks for the rehydration of athletes.

Sam Hamilton from Ardscoil Rís in Limerick City won a display award for his project ”A case study investigating the performance of PV solar panels without a battery module over one calendar year” in the Technology category.

The overall prize in this year’s competition went to Aditya Joshi and Aditya Kumar, third year students from Synge Street Secondary School in Dublin, for their project which produced a new method of solving the Bernoulli Quadrisection Problem. They presented a new approach to a problem that dates back to 1687, while also identifying areas of possible application in contemporary engineering.

The top individual award was won by 16 year-old Ross O’Boyle from Portmarnock Community College in Dublin for his investigation into the effectiveness of various ventilation methods using CO2 as a proxy for the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking at the presentation of awards on Friday, Education Minister Norma Foley said it was encouraging and heartening to witness the level of creativity and innovation of this year’s entrants as demonstrated through their meticulously researched and ingenious projects.

“The calibre of entries is a testament to the tenacity and talent of the students behind them, and it is this constant high standard that makes BT Young Scientist one of the longest running, and most successful STEM events in Europe”.

The winners received the BTYSTE trophy and the top prize of €7,500. They will represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September.