Meath young scientists showcase projects at RDS

Story by Noelle Finegan

Wednesday, 10th January, 2018 2:38pm

Meath young scientists showcase projects at RDS

Mercy Girls Niamh Yourell and Megan Gorman investigated the ‘Grassroots of Muscle Soreness’ caused by astroturf

Seven projects from Meath schools are among the 550 being showcased at the 54th Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) which opened at the RDS today. A further six projects from Colaiste Dun na Ri in Kingscourt and one from Virginia College are on display at the exhibition which continues until Friday.

Three projects from Loreto Secondary School in Navan have made it through, along with one project each from St Joseph’s Secondary School and St Patrick’s Classical School, also in Navan. One project from Beaufort College and one from St Peter’s College Dunboyne are also among the finalists.
An impressive 2,031 projects were submitted by students across the island of Ireland, with every county represented by a submission. This year’s award is more special than ever, as the 2018 overall winner will represent Ireland in the European Union Contest for Young Scientists when it comes to Dublin in September. 


Beaufort student Ben Soroos with teacher Sean Hughes.

Beaufort College has a long association with The Young Scientist Competition - former student Siobhán Lanigan O’Keeffe was the overall winner 30 years ago. This year the school will be represented by second year student Ben Soroos and his ‘SafeRide’ project promoting road safety for cyclists. His project is in the junior technology category.
“My idea is to make a device that is secured to a bike’s handlebars and records video from any time a vehicle comes within 1.5 metres. When an unsafe pass occurs, it will save the next 60 seconds of video and later self-analyse it for license plates. It will save all license plates detected, as well as all video, for later viewing from a local website where you can view previous or current rides. 
“There will also be a button to save the previous 120 seconds of video, so cyclists can save video of other incidents that they witness. This video will be analysed and saved as well. I want to lower the number of unsafe passes cars make past bikes. Using this device will make reporting unsafe passes easier.
Angela Crowcock Principal says that she is very proud of Ben’s achievement and hard work and has also commended his tutor Sean Hughes and all Ben’s classmates for their support and encouragement.


Three projects from Loreto St Michael’s Navan have made it through. ‘Personality and conformity’ is the name of the project submitted by Roisin Healy, Fatima Osman and Muireann Hegarty in the Intermediate Social and Behavioural Sciences category. Their project investigates the possible correlation between personality and conformity. 
‘To test for the presence of zinc in hair’ is the name of the individual project submitted by Loreto student Una Clarke in the Intermediate Biological and Ecological category. This project will compare zinc levels in hair from people who live in a mining town versus those who don’t.
The third project from St Michael’s is ‘Attacking Eye Tracking’ by Lauren Freyne and Johannah Fennessy in the Social and Behavioural Sciences senior category. Their Attacking Eye-Tracking system aims to improve speed and accuracy of recall when reading and has been designed to assist students with eye tracking difficulties.
‘OTC Med Minder’ is the title of the project by St Peter’s College Dunboyne students Sarah Avram and Roisin O’Connor in the Junior Technology section. “Over-the-counter medicine addiction is a growing problem. We propose developing computer software that tells the cashier how much medicine you’ve bought recently-preventing OTC medicine abuse,” explained the students.
St Patrick’s Classical School students Darragh Canny and Sean Keogh will exhibit their project ‘Roofing Safety Bar’ which qualified in the Intermediate Technology section. The project aimed to design and create safety equipment to to reduce building site injuries.
The final Meath project is from Niamh Yourell and Megan Gorman from St Joseph’s Mercy Convent, Navan who were selected in the senior Biological and Ecological section. Their project ‘Grass roots of muscle soreness’ investigates the effect of playing sport on artificial surfaces (astroturf) and how it contributes to muscle soreness and serious injury in young athletes.”

No less than six projects  qualified from Colaiste Dun na Ri, Kingscourt’s secondary school which only opened in September 2016. Student Maria McCaul, Holly Gaughan and Daisy Cox exhibit their project ‘Fight the Light’, a statistical analysis of rural men and their perception of sun protection factor in the fight against skin cancer. 

They carried out a survey on farmers and builders to see if they know about spf as part of project which is in the social and behavioural sciences junior category.
Aimee Reilly’s project ‘Rural Roundabout Wreckage’ investigates whether the inhabitants of Kingscourt and people who drive through the town use the flour roundabout on the Main Street correctly. Her project is also in the behavioural sciences junior category.
‘Gypsum- where does it come from and how does it compare to other continental deposits’ is the project by Max Kelly, Cein O’Rourke and Alex O’Reilly. They did a study of the gypsum rock that Gyproc Saint-Gobain use in their factory in Kingscourt.
Hana O’Connor, Kayla Mahon and Kelsey Buckland Morris did an investigative study into the prevalence of waste segregation, and the influential factors on segregating waste in Cavan/Monaghan. Their project focuses on the prevalence of rubbish segregation and factors which aids/prohibits people segregating their rubbish in accordance with waste disposal company guidelines.
‘An investigation into the high prevalence of millipedes and beetles in Dun A Ri Forest Park, Cavan, and the reasons as to their high prevalence in various habitats in this location, was the proejct in the biological and ecological category by Ilona Mc Carthy, Caoimhe Byrne and Eabha Garvey.
Jessica Dodd’s project ‘Processed meat not so neat’ looks at the dangers of processed meats and the health risks associated with them, investigating people’s knowledge on this.
Virginia College students Emily Murphy and Grainne Walsh’s project investigates how all the senses combine together to influence taste by performing experiments with volunteers from their school. Their project is in the intemediate social and behavioural sciences category. The other projects from Co Cavan, include one from Breifne College, Cootehill and two from St Bricin’s Vocational School in Belturbet.

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