ANN CASEY & MICHAEL KEAVNEY
From seeking solutions to plastic in our oceans, to documenting the physiological changes the body undergoes when playing 'Fortnite', Meath students have been busy investigating a range of topical subjects for the BT Young Scientist competition.
Taking place at the RDS, Dublin this week, the brightest minds from across the island will gather under one roof to compete for the coveted title of BT Young Scientist & Technologist(s) of the Year 2019.
This year, Meath is represented by five schools from across the county, with seven projects exhibited.
Three projects from Eureka Secondary School, Kells and one each from St Patrick’s Classical School in Navan, Scoil Mhuire, Trim, Ashbourne Community School and Franciscan College, Gormanston have qualified.
The Meath students were among 1,137 students across Ireland who submitted projects across four categories: Biological & Ecological Sciences; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences; Social & Behavioural Sciences; and Technology.
The projects for the 55th exhibition very much reflect issues of ongoing global concern, with almost 100 qualified projects tackling climate change and environmental issues, doubling last year’s projects.
St Pats scientists... Matthew Clinton, Cian Perdisatt, Jake Casserly with Principal, Colm O’Rourke and teacher, Bronagh Farrell.
The Eureka School in Kells has no less than three projects who qualified, all from groups of Transition year students, whose teacher is Maria Wright.
Katie Conachy, Ruth Smyth and Emma Jane McKeon have produced a project entitled 'Thumbs Up: A Scientific Investigation into Texting Style and its Relationship with Finger Strength, and Frequency or Increase in Localized Pain'. The project is entered in the intermediate Biological and Ecological category. The idea behind this project came from the students speaking to the Rehabilitation Department in Our Ladies Hospital Navan in relation to hand pain/issues arising from overuse in texting and phone use.
This group entered BT Young Scientist in 2017 and came third in the Junior Category for the Biological and Ecological World on their Investigation into Optical Illusions and its effect on portion control with different plate sizes.
Phones project... Daniella Onunkwo and Aine Matthews.
Eureka students, Crea Shine, Faye Donaghy and Dara Yore carried out 'An Investigation into the Physiological Changes that Occur when playing ‘Fortnite’.' The idea surrounding this project came as an observation by the students of younger family members spending a lot of time playing Fortnite and the media coverage currently surrounding the game. The gathered data on participants heart rate, blood pressure and reaction time before and after playing ‘Fortnite’. This is also an entry in the Biological and Ecological category.
Their classmates, Aine Matthews, Eimear Sherwin and Daniella Onunkwo have qualified with their project 'Should All Teens Switch to Black and White Screens?'
This project came out following the evidence surrounding blue light and issues such as sleep disturbance using phones before bedtime and the amount of time people spend on their phones during the day. Their investigation recorded the number of times people checked their phone with full colour over a seven day period, switched the phone to black and white mode, and recorded the number of times it was checked over a seven day period. It was also in the Social and Behavioural sciences category.
Blood Pressure Project... (l-r) Fay Donaghy, Crea Shine and Dara Yore test the impact games such as Fortnite (left) have on young people.
Third year Ashbourne Community College Student, Aksels Radionovs, will exhibit his project: 'Are young people enjoying their time in school?'
His project aims to find out if students enjoy their time in school and investigates whether links exist between age, gender and enjoyment. His project is in the Social and Behavioural Sciences and his teacher is Beaullah McManus.
Aksels Radionous With Teacher Beaullah McManus Ashbourne Community School
Maeve Kenny, a 5th year student in Scoil Mhuire Secondary School entered her project on a Wearable Memory Device, which qualified in the Social and Behavioural Sciences section. Her teacher is Clare Atkinson.
The purpose of project was to design a medical product to alleviate everyday minor worries such as remembering to lock the front door. It will be targeted at people who suffer from anxiety, OCD and other memory or stress related illnesses. Maeve also hopes this product will prove useful to the general public. Maeve has developed a functional 3D printed prototype using a human centered design approach.
St Patrick’s Classical School's Young Scientists qualifiers are Matthew Clinton, Kean Perdisatt and Jake Casserly. The boys are all second year students and their teacher is Bronagh Farrell.
Their project involved creating an educational app to teach young children to code, They tested their app on first year students and won a prize for their app from the Meath Enterprise Board last year. Their project is entered in the Technology category.
'An investigation into whether coagulant agents such as aluminium sulfate can facilitate the removal of plastic from the ocean/sea' is the entry from Dammy Sanusi, a 5th Year student of the Franciscan College, Gormanston.
The basis of this project was to investigate if aluminium sulfate, a chemical used in water treatment, can aide the removal of plastic from water and it is entered in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences category.
Good luck to all!