Dundalk’s finest young scientific minds get ready for exhibition

Four local schools will take part in the 58th running of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Students from St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk Grammar, St Louis Girls and Bush Post Primary will take part in the competition when it launches virtually online today (Wednesday) at 8am. Some of Dundalk’s finest young scientific minds will be amongst the 1000+ students who are involved in the popular event.
The Science Department of St Vincent’s School Dundalk, has a strong tradition of success in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), being represented in the competition for the past 16 years.

Over the years entrants from the school have achieved from ‘highly commended’ all the way to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the category awards. The highlights include Rachel Bothwell receiving the Google Trailblazer award for ‘Best Female project’ and Rachael Ni Dhonnachadha being crowned 2nd place in the over-all competition. Through participation in BTYSTE, the students develop learning skills necessary for the modern world. Their scientific, mathematical, research, analytical and presentation skills improve. The girls also enjoy the opportunity of applying the knowledge they have learned in the classroom to their project work.

This year, St Vincent’s will be represented by Sarah Dorgan, Sona Maria Sani and Bláthnaid Rafferty with their project, ‘A comparison between people’s attitudes towards different vaccinations’. The aim of their project is to gather people’s opinions on certain vaccinations and to investigate why people choose to take certain vaccines and not to take others. The girls are working on their project under the guidance and support of their teacher Mr John White, who has guided many of our students to this stage of the competition over the years. St Vincent’s sends its congratulations to the girls and wishes them every success in the finals.
Meanwhile St Louis Secondary School will have two projects on display at the exhibition under the guidance of teachers Anne Marie Kirk and Orla Muldoon. The first project sees Anne Marie’s students Megan Reilly, Natalia Gomez Salcines and Brianna Keene testing the effectiveness of homemade remedies for stomach aches.

According to the trio the experiment was really enjoyable and they were looking forward to taking part in the competition.
“Our project is “Testing Homemade remedies for Stomach Aches”
“We used titration experiments to neutralise acid. We have multiple different remedies including baking soda, peppermint, ginger and lots more. We tested which methods worked to neutralise acid and tested which were most effective.
We really enjoyed taking part in Btys because we got to explore science in our own way and experiment our own ideas.,” explained the girls.

The second project at St Louis which is being presented this morning features Jona Garcia, Claudine Mulihano and Iman Shittu who are all fifth year students in the school. Teacher Orla Muldoon explained what her students have been working on.
“The girls have been very busy working on their BT young scientist competition entry – A renewable and electricity free cooling system for food refrigeration – that can combat world hunger!

The girls are investigating if it is possible to use commonly found fertilizers to instantly and cheaply cool foods without the use of electricity. They really have done a load of work and they deserve the best!,” stated Orla.

Over in the Grammar School there will be no surprises at the contest for Solomon Doyle who will represent the school at the exhibition for a third time. Solomon has developed an app called iVision-A and his project is titled ‘A convulotional neural network based object detection and text recognition mobile application for the visually impaired’. The app helps the user to identify objects using a mobile device.
Bush secondary school have put forward two projects for the exhibition with Niamh Holland, Emily Tuohy and Sophie Hanlon looking to find the optimum fruit to eat before a match. A second project sees Bush students Rebecca Bothwell and Elizabeth Gillen asking the question ‘Is the Chinese government correct in limiting video game use in U18’s?’.

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