Success for Limerick schools at BT Young Scientist

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Maureen Walkingshaw, director of human resources for BT Business presents the first Senior Group Award to Jason Hannan, Kevin Hanley, Jamie O Connell, St Nessan's Community College  for their project 'Building in microgravity: A step closer' in the Technology Senior Group Category. Below, Diarmuid O'Flynn and Jack Corkery from Desmond College with their project 'Moove Over Mammy'. Pictures: Chris Bellew/Fennell
FUTURE technology is in safe Limerick hands, following the 2015 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin with students from Limerick emerging as winners at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level.

FUTURE technology is in safe Limerick hands, following the 2015 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin with students from Limerick emerging as winners at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level.

And students from two other Limerick schools were acclaimed by judges and received Highly Commended status, also in the Technology sector, while Adrian Kelly from the Salesian College in Pallaskenry was awarded the HEAnet senior special award.

It was a good result for Limerick, with ten schools from the city and county represented and 47 Limerick projects on display out of a total of 550.

But for the students from St Nessan’s College there was a double sweetener. Jason Hannon, Kevin Hanley and Jamie O’Connell were named as winners in the senior Technology section for their project, Building in Microgravity: A step closer. They were awarded a trophy and prize money of €300 but, in an initiative begun this year, they are also eligible to take up a scholarship worth €1,000 each for a university of their choice in the Republic of Ireland.

Their project looked at whether it was possible to build in space and aimed to test the performance of reinforced concrete in microgravity.

They sent their experiment to the International Space Centre last year and won an award for it in another competition, The Only Way is Up, run by the Irish Centre for Composites Research, run by UL.

There was delight too this week for Coláiste Ide agus Iosaef in Abbeyfeale where Imogen Lyons, Laura White and Kayleigh Brosnan took third prize in the Intermediate group category for their project looking at the hazards associated with livestock gases and how these gases can be separated out and utilised to produce energy on farms. They were one of two projects from the school.

“It was the first time projects were accepted from the school for the exhibition and it is our first win in this competition,” school spokesman Shane Curtin said. “We are all delighted. The girls put in a lot of hard work under the guidance of their teacher Joanna Kennedy.”

In preparation for the competition, the girls consulted with different people in the industry, science teacher Joanna explained, and also carried out a dummy-run in a real-life situation.

The girls are now in Transition Year and worked on the project since September. They were one of two projects from their school.

Ardscoil Rís students David Hamilton and Paul Hamilton brought home a trophy and prize money in the technology Junior group category, for their project which investigated the benefits of recycling technologies, using animal hair as an alternative to fibreglass attic insulation.

Two projects submitted by students at the Desmond College Newcastle West were highly commended. One of these was the homeless wrap invented by Emily Duffy of Knockaderry, which also received a lot of media coverage.

But students Jack Corkery and Diarmaid O’Flynn were also pleased to stand out from the pack with their project Mooove over Mammy.

Castletroy College sutdent Gareth Power’s project was also highly commended. His project looked at surfing the web and was called Surfware: The Safe Web Browser.

A comparison of learning algorithms on the classification of biological sequences won the Special Award for Salesian College student Adrian Kelly.