Two city schools, 16 students, eight entries and two anxious science teachers are hoping that they have done enough to scoop the BT Young Scientist award for 2012 taking place from next Wednesday, January 9, to January 12.
Presentation Secondary School, Sexton Street and Ard Scoil Ris on the North Circular Road will this year deliver a total of eight presentations to the BT Young Scientist judges over a three day period which will also mark the first time for both schools to be represented at the competition in over 20 years.
Three projects and eight students will fly the flag for Ard Scoil Ris in the competition. Transition Year student Killian Ryan, along with classmates Michael Fitzgibbon and Emmett Ryan, are hoping that their project, Eye On The Ball, will stand out on judging day.
“Our project aims to raise awareness about testicular cancer by sending out a monthly reminder for men to check their health. It’s a subscription-based service and after working very closely with the Irish Cancer Society we decided to donate all proceeds raised to them,” explained Killian.
The idea for their project stemmed from the death of a former pupil from testicular cancer and Killian and his friends decided to host several fundraisers as well as developing the app in a bid to raise awareness. To date the boys have raised over €600 and are currently in talks with the Marie Keating Foundation to expand their idea.
Ard Scoil Ris science teacher Diane Condon says that since taking part she has noticed a huge increase in students’ interest in science in the school.
“We spoke to the students about the competition when they were in third year and when they came back from their summer holidays they had loads of ideas for the competition,” said Ms Condon. “We even decided to take the TY class on a science trip next May and we have had a record number of students apply to go,” she adds.
Other projects from the school include Easy As Pi from David Noonan and David Connolly which aims to demonstrate how the raspberry pi works and a water sample test using the Daphnia Magna water flea by students Adam Collins, Paul Gallagher and Gavin Hickey.
Meanwhile Transition Year students in Presentation Secondary School are hoping that their projects will also impress the judges at next week’s competition.
“All the girls worked extremely hard on their projects and we are delighted to see them go through to the final. We entered 11 groups and to have five go through is a great achievement,” said Presentation School science teacher Triona Murray. Presentation School principal Marion Cummins says that this achievement is an added bonus for the school as it is the first time the school have been represented at the Young Scientist Competition in over two decades.
“This will be the first time in 21 years that we will be represented at the Young Scientist competition and we are absolutely thrilled. We used to enter the competition quite regularly years ago and we had many success stories from the competition. However we didn’t enter for many years again until now,” said Ms Cummins.
Students Daria Biel, Rosanna Marciniak and Paulina Bielarska decided to use their own real life experiences in their project ,titled The Difficulties That International Students Have In the Irish School System.”
“I thought that this would be a good project to do because I’m not from Ireland myself so I know what it is like to have to adjust to a different culture,” explained Daria.
Other projects from the Presentation include First Impressions by Sarah Little, Skip It by Chelsea McNally and Katelyn McMahon, an investigation into the effects of vitamin C concentrations by Roisin Hogan and a study on living in Southill by Nicola Bennett.